3 San Diego Padres prospects who could play big roles in 2024

In 2024, the San Diego Padres top prospects could play big roles in the team's success. You may not know their names today, but you will by the end of next summer.
San Diego Padres prospect Jackson Merrill
San Diego Padres prospect Jackson Merrill / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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Ethan Salas, C

Baseball has seen prospects take the leap from the low minors to the majors before. Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves won the 2022 National League Rookie of the Year after starting the season (43 games) in Double-A. Ethan Salas could make a similar impact with his bat in San Diego. The Padres offense needs to show some life in 2024.

The teenage catcher tore it up at each stop in the minors last season. Salas played 66 games in three minor league stops (A, A+ and AA). Collectively, he hit for .248 with nine home runs, 41 RBI and .831 OPS. Salas showed some power and the ability to hit to all fields from the left side of the plate.

Defensively, he has a strong arm with great mechanics in blocking pitches in the dirt. Still, veteran starters might be apprehensive about giving full control in calling a game to a 19-year-old. Gaining their confidence might be his biggest hurdle in 2024.

The front office will not waiver to put Salas on the roster if they deem him ready for the majors. But he will have to catch more than once or twice a week for the move to be successful.

Salas breaking camp with the Padres would be the exception, not the rule.