Sickels on Jesus Montero

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Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels talks about the controversial Jesus Montero. What’s so controversial you ask? His defense and his plate discipline, apparently. In case you missed the DotF update, Montero finished second to Hagerstown’s Michael Burgess in the Sally League HR Derby last night. Eleven unfortunate balls felt the Wrath of Jesus. Ain’t nothin’ controversial about that.

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  • MD

    just to note: both Yogi Berra and Jorge were considered defensive liabilities in their early years in the majors…both, and particularly Berra, continued to improve dramatically so that by their primes they were considered very good defensively….Jesus can still come a long way….he’s doing fine.

  • CB

    What’s the controversy about Montero?

    He’s not a Red Sox prospect.

    Let”s even assume Montero will have to move to 1b and can’t stick at catcher. He’s having a better year in the Sally League than Lars Anderson did last year and montero is a year younger than Anderson was. Sickels had Anderson as a B+ player coming into this season.

    But everything we’ve seen this year makes one more confident that Montero can stick behind the plate – not less likely.

    Angle Villalona was BA’s 33 ranked prospect this year. Villolona has not moved off 3b to 1b. Lars Anderson was BA’s #40 prospect. Montero is having a better year than both of them – and they are now both set at 1b. Montero is progressing as a catcher.

    It’ll be interesting to see where Montero ranks at season’s end.

    • CB

      Sorry meant to write Villalona has now moved off 3b to 1b.

    • Reggie C

      Lars Anderson was cold for nearly the entire first half of the season up until 3 weeks ago. He’s sorta been on a tear. Still , i dont think he’s a better power bet than Montero , and we cannot ignore the fact taht the California league is a very hitter friendly league. That’s why the RS dont like sending their best pitching prospects to that league.

      I expect Montero to hopefully hit for alittle more power. Show that lift dude! Its not that big a deal, but an increase in power would go a long way in showing that he’s a Top 30 prospect in the game.

    • Reggie C

      I gotta stand up for Sickels on this one… Look at Anderson’s OBP percentage. Its pretty good. The homerun production is only okay , but the weather is only gonna get warmer. That’s the ONE thing i’ll give Anderson over Montero — the man simply gets on base.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        What people forget about Lars Anderson is, not only is he a much, much better hitting prospect than Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson, Carmen Angelini, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth, he’s also beaten cancer 5 times (pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and cancer in all three of his testicles), found a cure for ALS in his spare time, throws a 2 seamer and a circle change that both grade out as 90’s on the 20-80 scale, and saved a busload of nuns, kids, and puppies from a burning warehouse teetering off a collapsing bridge in South Yarmouth last year in the Cape League using only a gum wrapper, a box of paper clips, and the second foot of his penis.

        Now THAT’S a prospect!

        For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

        • Travis G.

          lol. that was good.

  • J.R.

    The kid is 18, even sickels indicates he is making defensive improvements. And every AL team does need a DH. Nothing in my book to worry about over this kid.

  • Adam

    did sickles really quote the fielding percentage and range factor for a catcher? really? range factor is about as useless when discussing a catcher’s defense as a supermodel is to a blind guy.

    • steve (different one)

      i disagree. even blind guys have hands.

      • Pablo Zevallos


  • Manimal

    lets see his range at first base.

    • Jon

      At this point, why?

  • Ben K.

    This is the same John Sickels who hates every prospect, right?

    • Mike A.

      Except Jed Lowrie. He’s the next Derek Jeter. Seriously.

      • CB

        His take on Jed Lowerie over the winter was great. He had him ranked as a better prospect than Cameron Maybin and Adam Jones.

      • Jamal G.

        LoL, every time I see Jed Lowrie’s name I just imagin Martin Lawrence making fun of Will Smith’s character in “Bad Boys”, Mike Larry. Martin was hating on Smith as usual and he was like “I’m Mike LAHHRY”, LoL.

  • Jamal G.

    Heh, I like how Mr. Sickels made a little knock on Montero saying how “he has spent a lot of time at DH this year” but failed to mention the Charleston roster also boasts another Yankee Top 30 prospect behind the plate in Austin Romine. I found that kind of a low blow, like I really did not appreciate that because I know for a damn fact he knows who Austin Romine is.

    • Pablo Zevallos

      I hope you mean Top 30 Yankee prospects

      • Jamal G.

        “…Charleston roster also boasts another Yankee Top 30 prospect…” ;)

        • Pablo Zevallos

          hehe oops… ;(

      • Reggie C

        If he sticks at catcher and scouts write him up as “improving” defensively , then I’ll be aggressive with his ranking and put him as Top 30. Okay, he’s a Yankee and i’m partial to catchers .. but I think publications tend to also over-rank Yank prospects a bit. There’s never much depth in the catcher position anyway , so outside of Matt Weiters … Jesus Montero could be the second or third name in the catching ranks.

  • Matt L

    I’m actually not a fan of keeping him behind the plate, Catcher is such a physically taxing position that it could take away from his bat. With a bat like that I would rather him play a position like 1B or DH.

    • Yankee1010

      I completely disagree. Having a bat like Montero’s at catcher is such an enormously valuable asset. You do not take guys who mash and can play premium defensive positions and stick them at 1B or DH. BAD idea.

      • Travis G.

        i agree with both of you actually. imo, it would be ideal if the Yanks have a great defensive catcher on the team with Montero (Romine?), so that Montero doesn’t have to catch 5-6 times/week. that WOULD hurt his offensive production during the season. so maybe he catches 3-4 times/week, then DHs or plays 1b the other days to save his strength, while Romine catches.

        • Yankee1010

          If Romine turns into a stud defensive catcher who can approximate Montero’s production, I agree that some sort of catching tandem could work. However, if anyone needs a refresher course on how valuable a catcher who can mash is, just take a gander at the Yanks’ backup catchers lately. If is FAR easier to find a 1B or DH who can rake than a catcher.

          Here’s a question for the Montero to 1B crowd: Do you think that the Yanks would be better with Posada at 1B (playing everyday) and Molina at C or with Posada at C (and resting once every 5 days or so) and Giambi at 1B?

    • Pete

      It might be beneficial to DH him maybe once or twice a week to give his legs a break, but I’d say he’s 100 times more valuable to the organization as a catcher…

  • Yankee1010

    The Yankee-hater club doesn’t just include Sickels. Just check out what Callis said in his ESPN chat today:

    Drew (FL): Jim, if you’re the Cubs do you empty the farm for Sabathia if made available? If so, who would likely go in a deal?

    Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET ) I would, because I don’t think the Cubs system is that loaded right now. I’d ask for Josh Vitters, Jose Ceda and a third player. Vitters and Ceda aren’t tearing it up, so maybe the Cubs would bite.

    This was followed up by:

    Chris (San Diego): Could the Yankees keep Hughes and still have the pieces to get Sabathia? What would it take?

    Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) I don’t think so. I’m getting a lot of questions from Yankees fans wondering if they can package disappointing players like Kennedy and Tabata with some lesser talents, and that’s not going to work. They’d have to part with Hughes or Austin Jackson, I would think.

    He was quickly called out on it:

    Seymour, Brooklyn: So you think the Cubs could get Sabathia with Vitters and some other junk but the Yankees who have a MUCH better system suited for trades, would have to give up Hughes or Jackson? Please explain.

    Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) I said the Cubs system isn’t that loaded, so if I were the Cubs, I’d be willing to empty it. But the Indians would probably get more attractive offers from other clubs.

    Um, no, Jim. You said that the Cubs would have to think about sending Vitters, Ceda and a 3rd player to the Indians. And admitted that Vitters and Ceda aren’t doing anything right now. Yet, the Yanks, who have a much deeper system, could only get Sabathia by including Hughes or A-Jax. Callis is such a retard.

    • Travis G.

      he basically sidestepped the accusation/question. oh whatever, it’s ESPN.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        ESPN’s constant Yankee degradations and Red Sox platitudes are so blatant and thorough, it’s almost Fox News-ish. It’s like they’ve been memoed talking points before going on air.

        • Pablo Zevallos

          I hate those Republicans

  • Glen L

    I think a big reason say he can’t stay behind the plate is because they expect him to fill out even more and may physically be too big to squat for 9 innings 5 times a week

    • JeterMack Clutch

      you are speculating on speculation right now, and jesus wouldn’t like it

      • Glen L

        that should read

        “I think a big reason PEOPLE say …”

        i wouldn’t know the guy from a hole in the wall, so i’m certainly not qualified to make that assessment

  • A.D.

    Jesus defensively isn’t a worry, he’d be a top Yankee prospect at 1B right now, the fact he may be able to play catcher is a bonus. Big bat prospect, see where the D goes.

  • Mike Newman

    I’m a former college catcher who spent time coaching the position as well. Montero is a disaster behind the plate. However, he has a tremendous bat with outstanding bat speed. As a first baseman, he should still be a beast. Click on my name to check out my report. I also wrote on a number of other Charleston guys.