SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres signed 16-year-old catcher Ethan Salas of Caracas, Venezuela, to a $5.6 million bonus on Sunday, the first day of the international signing period.
Salas is the consensus top overall prospect in this year's class. The left-handed hitter is the younger brother of Jose Salas, one of the top prospects in the Miami Marlins system.
The Salas brothers have a long family history in baseball. Their father, Jose Antonio, played in the Atlanta Braves organization; their uncle, Jose Gregorio, played in the Toronto Blue Jays system; and their grandfather, Jose Gregorio, played in the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals organizations.
According to scouting reports, Ethan Salas has raw power at the plate and strong defensive skills.
Also Sunday, the Washington Nationals signed outfielder Elian Soto, the 17-year-old brother of Padres right fielder Juan Soto. The Nationals traded Juan Soto to the Padres in a blockbuster deal on Aug. 2.
Elian Soto, a left-handed hitter who verbally agreed to join the Nationals last year, isn't considered a premium international prospect but is still young enough to develop into one. Amateur players and their trainers in the Dominican Republic often make handshake agreements with teams long before they're old enough to officially sign a contract, allowing them to intermittently train at the team's facility and preventing them from showcasing themselves to evaluators from other organizations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.