According to Jeff Sanders, five prospects in the San Diego Padres organization, including Ethan Salas, are being promoted to Double-A San Antonio. 2022 first round pick Dylan Lesko is heading to High-A Fort Wayne with the Padres #5 prospect Samuel Zavala. Dillon Head hasn’t even played in 15 games yet in the Padres organization and he is headed to Single-A Lake Elsinore.
Mass movementup up the #Padres system:— Jeff Sanders (@sdutSanders) August 20, 2023
All to Double-A @missionsmilb
Dylan Lesko and Samuel Zavala to High Single-A @TinCaps
Dillon Head to Low Single-A @Storm_Baseball
Salas is the headliner here in today’s news. He’s only 17 years old and is being called up to what is considered the best level of minor league baseball (because that’s where the top prospects in baseball usually play) so this news is definitely significant.
The Padres clearly think he could be ready to be in the majors at 19 years old or else why would they risk hurting his confidence by pulling him when he isn’t ready. MLB.com’s Jim Callis said something similar a few days ago on my show.
Salas never got the chance to get comfortable in Fort Wayne, as he played just nine games in High-A after being promoted from Single-A Lake Elsinore. In 35 at-bats with the Tin Caps, Salas only had a .472 OPS, which was well below his .837 Lake Elsinore OPS.
Perhaps the Padres thought there isn’t a huge difference between Single-A and High-A so why not give it a shot with Salas playing a full level higher despite the not so great numbers in a small sample size with Fort Wayne.
Robby Snelling, who is the Padres best pitching prospect in the organization according to MLB.com, is just 19 years of age but holds a 1.88 ERA this season through 18 starts. He was drafted last year and his expected arrival time in San Diego is 2026.
Graham Pauley has tore apart the minors this season, as he is hitting .305 on the year with 20 home runs and an OPS north of .900. Jakob Marsee is a 22-year-old outfielder who has also done pretty well offensively this season, as he owns an .838 OPS with Fort Wayne.
Nathan Martorella is 22 just like Marsee and has been an RBI machine (73) this season in 112 games at High-A.
Dylan Lesko wasn’t ready to pitch for Lake Elsinore at the beginning of the season (Tommy John surgery recovery) but he debuted for them on July 21, striking out four batters in three innings of work. The Padres see the talent in him because the traditional stats (6 ERA, 14 runs in 21 innings) don’t stand out so far in his first minor league season.
Samuel Zavala is the only outfielder ranked in the top five of the Padres farm system, according to MLB.com. The 19-year-old, who was brought into the organization out of Venezuela, has an .871 OPS this season with more than 70 RBI in 101 games. San Diego hopes to see him be one of their starting outfielders a few years down the road.
Dillon Head was drafted less than two months ago out of high school and is already being put in Single-A. The 18-year-old is almost hitting .300 with a .413 on-base percentage and .884 OPS in 51 rookie ball at-bats.
Having this many big prospects in the system be promoted at the same time is a little surprising but it isn’t shocking considering President of Baseball Operations A.J. Preller hasn’t been scared to call up prospects to the big leagues or to the next level of the minor leagues when some might think it’s too early to do so.
He would probably tell you that he believes in his players and wants to give them their next challenge.