Minor Notes: Montero, Prospect Lists, Draft


Got some minor league notes to pass along…

  • As I’m sure you’ve already heard, farm director Mark Newman confirmed that Jesus Montero and Austin Romine will start the year in Triple-A and Double-A, respectively. Montero’s bat is definitely ready for the jump, though his glove isn’t, so that will be a big challenge for him. Romine’s ready for Trenton, he probably was in August.
  • Kevin Goldstein ran down his top eleven Yankee prospects, with Montero topping the list as the team’s only five star prospect. Since departed Arodys Vizcaino was the team’s only four star prospect, and they’re followed by a slew of three star guys. Trust me, trading Arodys stings, but remember that he’s a 19-year old that has yet to play in a full season league. He’s just a lotto ticket.
  • Coincidentally, Marc Hulet at FanGraphs posted his list of the Yanks top ten Yankee prospects, and had Vizcaino fourth behind Montero, Romine, and Zach McAllister. He also had Mike Dunn rated 6th, which is about as high as you’ll see him on any list. I like Mike Dunn, but sheesh, not that much.
  • Meanwhile, Hulet is also running through his annual review of each team’s recent drafts, and hit the Yankees yesterday. If you’re looking for the quick recap of the last four drafts, then I highly recommend it, Marc does a great job. Five members of the Yanks’ 2006 draft class have already reached the big leagues, and three others are legitimately on the door step. Quite a haul.
  • The Yanks signed outfielder Javier Herrera to a minor league deal. Baseball America rated him the sixth best prospect in Oakland’s system as recently as 2007, though he had Tommy John surgery and never quite figured it out. He’s a career .282-.358-.468 hitter in the minors, though he has just 15 plate appearances above Double-A. Decent little gamble.
Categories : Draft, Minors


  1. Mike bk says:

    Viz or Man-Ban long term?

  2. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Arodys is a lottery ticket with the first 4 numbers that are correct with the last 2 to be called.

  3. Aaron S. says:

    Mike, was just coming to the site to email you on the Javi Herrerra signing when I saw this post up. I remember a few years ago when he was one of Oakland’s top prospects. If I remember correctly, he was once more highly touted than Carlos Gonzalez was (of course, before he was traded). Do you think Herrerra will have any impact this year outside of Scranton or is he just a chance worth taking and nothing more?

  4. pat says:

    Eh we have two Arody’s clones in Jose Ramirez and Chris Cabrera. Sucks to lose him but he’s maaad young and had some shoulder problems this year. He is by no means a sure thing.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      Of course he’s not a sure thing, but he’s done something in Pro Ball here in the U.S., something Ramirez and Cabrera haven’t done. For those reasons I think it’s a poor comparison, even if the other two have good talent.

      • pat says:

        Ramirez tore up the GCL, Homes. 61 ip .803 whip 1.48 whip. They even started him in the Tampa championship game.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

          No shit. My bad, dude. I only saw his DSL stats.

        • pat says:

          OOps, 1.48 era.

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:


            I’ll gladly take a serving now. I’ve finally left that backwater bastion of idiocy known as “The South,” so I’m in a better emotional state.

            You guys know of any scouting reports on either of those two? I only see that they have “high upside,” particularly Ramirez.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

              Cabrera is supposedly a beast. Couldn’t play last year because he was too young, but a hard thrower with a decent breaking pitch. He was, according to reports, topping out at 96-97 mph.

              • Mike bk says:

                “Chris Cabrera, RHP, Dominican Republic
                Height/Weight: 6’1″/185
                A number of teams have been chasing Cabrera, with eight clubs showing significant interest or getting private workouts recently. Cabrera has some projection, but he’s shorter than many of the other July 2nd pitching prospects, making up for it with more polished stuff and command. He works at 90-91 with his fastball (touching 94), and shows promise with a slider and changeup that both grade out as average at times (with potential for more). The Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Rangers, and Rays are all finalists for Cabrera, who should be looking at a bonus in the $500-700,000 range.”

                that was before the signing, so maybe he got a lot stronger?

                • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

                  He was pretty young so he may have grown a bit or filled out. Not sure. In any event, big thanks to Mike bk and Andy for the info.

                • Mike bk says:

                  it is certainly possible and i dont doubt in the future he could top at 96 and sit maybe 93, just not sure it has happened yet.

            • pat says:

              Ramirez has a power fastball 93-95 and a good change. Curve is extremely inconsistent but he can put good spin on it. Throws alot of strikes. Overlooked by many as he was not a huge bonus baby. 19 y/o. 6’1 155, ton’s of room to fill out.
              Cabrera- only 16 y/o our top July 2nd pitching signee. Mark Newman said he puts very good spin on the curveball and Nardi has said he has an average MLB fastball right now, with average control. Good athleticism. A tiny bit undersized at 5’11 but is a solid 180.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

                I think my cat Mr. Nipples weighs 155. Considering the reports and early GCL stats on Ramirez, despite his age, I’m surprised we don’t hear more about him.

                I like to stay pretty knowledgeable on our prospects but it’s rare to hear about either one, although Cabrera is a very recent signing and still in DSL.

                You’re the best, fellow perv.

                (By the way, funny special perv sidebar. I helped move my sister out of her apartment in Chapel Hill to some dump the next town over, so I stayed a night there. Her roommates at the old place went home for Winter Break; all hot sorority girls. Major panty raid! Brought a few home back to New Jersey, as well as a few pictures they had in their rooms! Only decent thing about going to North Carolina during a snow storm, attending a shitty, contrived graduation, and being stuck there an extra day.)

              • You’re making the loss of Arodys sting a bit less in my heart, and I thank you for that.

    • Mike bk says:

      dont forget Jairo Heredia is back. He will only be 20 this year and pitching in Tampa.

      • pat says:

        Jairo is one of my favorites. Very good offspeed stuff and controlls the FB well. Just needs to add a tick or two to the fb to get up into the 92 ish region.

        • Mike bk says:

          i thought he already sat 90-92/3 or was that before the injury?

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

            Before injury he was sitting low 90s.

          • pat says:

            Ehhhh, I think that was always a little stretched because he projected to add a few MPH from when he was signed because he was tall and lanky. He could have added it last year but he was hurt and ineffective for much of the year. I could 100% be wrong but I thought in Charleston in 08 he was sitting on the cusp of 90 and eventually when he filled out he would sit in the 91 to 92 range touching 93 and 94 occasionally.

            Either way he still has a good curve and changeup so that brings his floor up considerably.

  5. Jake H says:

    I think Arodys projects as Javy if everything clicks. I do wonder what everyone is hearing about Manny? I’ve heard that he throws just 87-89 while BA says low 90′s.

    • pat says:

      Nah, Arodys throws harder then Javy and at this point only has a serviceable CB as a secondary pitch. Javy has legit 4 plus pitches.

  6. Drew says:

    Why was Herrera ranked so high? Looks to me like a light hitting catcher with a good eye at the plate.

  7. Mike bk says:

    just a note on Javi. those appearances above AA were back in 2005. was he still hurt this year that he only played 1 game in 2009?

  8. Charlie says:

    From the BP article:

    “Simply put, Montero is one of the best offensive prospects in the game, and possibly the best. He’s a massive slugger with the contact skills of a batting champion, with one scout classifying his ability to put the middle of the barrel on the ball “almost supernatural.” His raw power is at or near the top of the charts—and he’s just starting to tap into it. He has the potential for 30-40 home runs annually. He’s a hard worker who puts as much work into his defense as his hitting, and he’s made great strides behind the plate”

    i read this..
    .. and then i jizzed in my pants

  9. SM says:

    Wow Goldstein with no Brackman in the top 15. I guess he is overvaluing age but its not like Brackman has tons of experience.

    • Bo says:

      Because Goldstein has a brain.

      • SM says:

        Sure, but what does that have to do with a the projectability of a guy coming of TJ who pitched his most innings ever and nearly doubled his career starting totals.

      • BklynJT says:

        Actually reading reports from Newman, Brackman scratched his changeup and moved to the bullpen last year so that he could focus on commanding his fastball and cb. At the end of the year he was able to establish solid mechanics evident by his numbers at the end of the season.. i think 0 walks in last several outings.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

          He started well and ended well. Everything in the middle was dicey. Still, he finished without injury and had a good K-rate. Could have been better but whatevs, next year is a more important year.

  10. JSquared says:

    I’m pretty sure Hulet’s list looks the way it is from lack of knowledge…

  11. A.D. says:

    At worst, he should settle in as a No. 3 starter in the Majors if he can stay healthy.

    In reference to Z-Mac, I’ll gladly take that.

    • All Praise Be To Mo says:

      Anyoen else but me think Z-Mac is nothing but trade fodder? I love his stats, but where would he fit in our future rotation?

      • A.D. says:

        Basically looking at his stuff, he could turn into a young Javy Vazquez.

        Figure if all goes well going forward:


        Of course CC could opt out and Joba/Hughes could not pan out.

        • Mike bk says:

          he doesnt have that kind of stuff. maybe more like a derek lowe.

        • All Praise Be To Mo says:

          You don’t think we’re signing at least 1 starter next winter (Beckett, Lee, Webb)? I would think the top two of CC/AJ, then FA, then Joba & Phil to round it out. Also if CC opts out, King Felix is a FA the same year. First 200 million pitcher?

          • A.D. says:

            You don’t think we’re signing at least 1 starter next winter

            Not really, at least not fully convinced, though my guess is it heavily depends on how many of the pitching prospects do this year.

          • BklynJT says:

            Looking back at it, that was some great forsight by cash to entice CC with the opt out for that year of his contract. backup plan K.Felix

      • Zack says:

        Z-Mac will be the 7th inning guy obviously

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      It sounds like a very optimistic outlook for Z-Mac. I see him, and I think many do as well, as more of a back-end guy, not a #3 starter.

      #3 sounds like more best case than worst case, but whatevs.

      • A.D. says:

        Yeah that’s why I highlighted. Though realistically “at worse” is always he doesn’t make it.

        I saw it more as best case: #2, likely back of the rotation

  12. Doug says:

    For those who didn’t catch it, Hulet’s list over at FanGraphs didn’t even consider Heathcott or Sanchez as they were ’09 signees.

  13. What do you think about the crazy velocity hype train that has started? All of a sudden Ardoys is sitting mid-90s and touching 97 all the time according to some folks.

    Arodys was my pet prospect and he’s got a ridiculous ceiling, but where the hell did this come from?

    • Mike bk says:

      they always get better once they are dealt. lol. i dont consider 92-94 sitting mid 90′s as that is what most reports i have read say, topping 96 maybe.

      • The MPH hype gets ridiculous and is unfair because then when people see a prospect *not* hitting those numbers, they get dinged.

        Arodys has the ceiling because of a good fastball that isn’t straight and a really good for his stage of development curve. I thought KLaw’s summary of him was pretty spot-on.

  14. pollo says:

    How bout this:



  15. BklynJT says:

    yeah and Jeter will still be at SS. Hard to tell your 300 mil dollar man to move twice in his Yankee career.

  16. TheZack says:

    I’ve learned to treat Goldstein’s prospect lists for what they are: very very meaningless. One season generally makes or breaks a prospect on them, and there is a LOT of hype and projection built into it.

    For instance, look at Lars Anderson last season to this season. In fact, look at any team’s past 5 years and its like a whose who of guys who never made it. Of course, that is simply the nature of prospect lists.

    But people tend to get very caught up in the 5 vs 4 vs 3 star system, and how come Boston has two 5 star and two 4 star players etc. But it really really doesn’t matter. At all.

  17. [...] with Nick Johnson, which could be worth as much as $14.5M over two years. Catcher Mike Rivera and outfielder Javi Herrera were brought in on minor league [...]

  18. [...] Outlook Farm director Mark Newman has already confirmed that Montero will start the 2010 season as the every day catcher for Triple-A Scranton. [...]

  19. [...] Arodys Vizcaino ranks third behind Heyward and Julio Teheran. Somehow he managed to go from a four star prospect with the Yanks to a five star prospect with the Braves in less than a month. Go figure. Posted on Thursday, [...]

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