Dec
23

Jesus Montero ranked the fifth best prospect in baseball

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We know that Jesus Montero is the top-ranked prospect in the Yankees system, but where does he ranked compared to his peers? SI.com recently published Baseball America’s Top 20 prospects, and Jesus ranks fifth overall. Furthermore, John Manuel calls him “The minors’ best hitter.” Those are some pretty hefty accolades for de Jesus, especially considering two of the hitters ranked above him: Jason Heyward of the Braves and Mike Stanton of the Marlins. Slated to start 2010 in AAA, we just might see Montero don the pinstripes before the season closes.

Categories : Asides

119 Comments»

  1. All Praise Be To Mo says:

    Any reason not to bring him up midway through the season if he’s tearing up AAA in case Nick Johnson gets hurt?

  2. larryf says:

    Jesus saves!… and I will be at several Scranton games this year. Makes for some nice road trips to Durham and Norfolk as well. Good, wholesome, inexpensive entertainment with a Jesus autograph to top it all off….

  3. Salty Buggah says:

    Slated to start 2010 in AAA, we just might see Montero don the pinstripes before the season closes.

    :Screams like a 12 year old girl, or JMK, at a Justin Bieber concert:

  4. The Evil Empire says:

    What are Montero’s winter ball numbers? Why were they low?

    • V Squared says:

      I think he batted around .115 but Mike Axisa would know for sure.

      • Doug says:

        yup

        .115/.207/.115 in only 26 ABs.

        team stopped playing him after the 1st week or so. not because of injury, but supposedly the teams over there will just not play you if you’re not hitting. even if you are jesus.

    • JGS says:

      I broke my finger a couple of months ago, still don’t have full movement back, and certainly don’t trust it for anything sports-related.

      From everything I heard, Jesus’ broken finger was decently worse than mine, so there is rust from simply not playing for a couple of months added on top of whatever residual mistrust of the finger he has left. He’ll be just fine

  5. AndrewYF says:

    Casey Kelly at number 14, holy cow…is he the most overhyped prospect in baseball?

  6. Steve H says:

    Miguel Cabrera (whom Jesus is often compared to) as a 20 year old got half a seasons ab’s on a WS winning team, I don’t see why Jesus couldn’t get a chance to come up if/when he’s destroying AAA.

  7. Bryan says:

    How can anyone take that list seriously when Manuel says “The Yankees don’t see him as Jorge Posada’s heir because his defense is on par with Piazza’s or worse” yet Vice President of baseball operations for the NYY Mark Newman states emphatically (as he’s done pretty much every time Montero’s name has been mentioned the past few years) “the Yankees still see their top prospect as a catcher” ?

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/200.....ep-closer/

    • Steve H says:

      Didn’t he also say they could bring him up this year as a backup catcher/DH? If they didn’t see him as a catcher, they would move him off ASAP.

    • Doug says:

      maybe manuel and newman haven’t talked ;-)

    • Glen L says:

      Because the yanks president of baseball operations has far less reason to be objective and potentially diminish a prospects trade value by saying he cannot play an up the middle defensive position than does a baseball prospect ranking organization with no vested interest in the player

      • Bryan says:

        That would require Mark Newman to think that all the scouts and baseball people around MLB are unable to think for themselves and I highly doubt that is the case. If you think for one minute he’s thinking that if he says he’s not a catcher in the forseeable that his value will diminish is pure lunacy as that would mean Mark Newman is smarter than every other teams baseball scouts as they are unable to think for themselves ! The fact of the matter is that Joe Mauer changed most teams thinking when it comes to be “too big” to be a catcher and even with marginal defense at best (Jorge Posada) the NYY will still keep him as a catcher.

  8. I actually wouldn’t have minded seeing El Carpintero start the 2010 season in AA (with a promotion to AAA within a month or two if he was just killing the competition), since he didn’t get many ABs there and AAA will be his third level in less than a year, but I tend to fall on the more conservative side when it comes to promotions.

    • vin says:

      I wonder how much Romine’s readiness to play in AA factored into Jesus being moved up to AAA. Perhaps they feel both guys need regular action behind the plate. It will be interesting to see how they both handle the promotions.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

        Romine’s play may have been a small factor, but ultimately, they saw no benefit in him continuing to tee off on AA pitching and he can refine his defensive skills in AAA while facing more advanced pitching. He was ready. Romine looked very good in Hi-A and is probably ready for AA, though he may be a bit overmatched at first.

        I think they’ll both stay at their respective leagues throughout the year. Maybe Montero gets a September call-up. We have tremendous depth at C. Let them get their at-bats in at one league for a full season.

    • Drew says:

      Eh, probably best to give he and Romine full-time duties rather than splitting time.

      • Eh… I’d rather concentrate on definitely not rushing El Carpintero rather than worrying about where Romine will start the season. For all I care, he can stick in Tampa for the first month or two while El Carpintero gets some work at AA before moving up to AAA. I’m not talking about holding these guys back for a year or anything, I’d just be a bit more cautious with the promotions. They can always just promote them if they’re killing the competition and I’d rather do that than promote a kid too quickly.

        I’m really not overly concerned with this, clearly I defer to the Yankees’ judgment on these guys since they know best, they know the players better than anyone else, and they have the biggest stake in these guys all working out so obviously they’re making what they consider to be the right move. I just always figure that holding off on a promotion doesn’t hurt a player, while when you promote guys, you run the risk of putting him up against a level of competition he’s not quite ready for, hurting his confidence, yadda yadda.

        • Mike bk says:

          they already held romine back as he was ready to move to trenton in august last year, but let him finish at Tampa.

          • Ok, so hold him back another month or two. Is it going to hurt him to get some playing time behind the plate and get some ABs in Tampa until Montero hits his way out of Trenton and vacates the spot for him? I like Romine, but he’s considerably lower on my list of priorities than Montero. And, again, I’m only talking about a month or two, here. Just enough time to make sure Montero’s completely back from his injury and looks ready for AAA.

        • Drew says:

          I guess they figure the bat is ready for the jump. His biggest issue is catching which is best addressed while starting every-ish day. If he’s splitting time with Romine you have to figure his progress behind the dish would be somewhat thwarted.

          I’m sure the Yanks wouldn’t rush him unless they are 100% sure he’s ready.

          • ” If he’s splitting time with Romine you have to figure his progress behind the dish would be somewhat thwarted.”

            Dude, I just explained, in the comment you’re responding to, that I’m not talking about Montero and Romine splitting time. In the comment you just responded to I explained that if Montero were to start the season in Trenton I’d have Romine start the season in Tampa. Neither or them would be splitting time behind the plate. Shift everyone down a level to start the season until you get to that open spot in the catching ranks, I forget which level it’s at. Then, a month or two in, when El Carpintero has showed that he’s mashing AA and is back from the injury and everything is a-ok, Romine goes up to Trenton, and promotions happen accordingly.

            • If the not splitting time thing was unclear in the comment you responded to, hopefully this clears it up. What I’m saying is Montero starts in AA and doesn’t split time, Romine starts in Tampa and doesn’t split time.

            • Drew says:

              My bad man I did kind of gloss over it.

              As I explained though I think there is no reason to hold him back if they feel the bat is ready.

              Let Higa do it in one of Charleston/Tampa, let Romine do it in Trenton and let Jesus man Scranton.

              For catchers I think it’s best to enter the season with a team and stick with them. This way you’re accustomed to the new pitchers and won’t have to learn them mid-season.

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

              I believe it’s Tampa without a legit prospect according to the way our Farm catching depth goes. Sanchez and Murphy are GCL, Staten Island, Higgy at Charleston, X at Tampa, Romine at AA, Montero at AAA.

              • Cool.. So Montero in Trenton, Romine in Tampa, for a short while. That’s all I’m talking about.

                • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

                  I’m generally pretty conservative when it comes to the farm (and development in general, particularly with pitching—but we’ve had those chats), so I’d prefer to take their development very slowly.

                  Yeah, Montero will probably crush Trenton and he’s offensively probably ready for SWB, but why chance it? We have time, depth and no real need for them to be rushed. Baby steps. Give them tremendous confidence, let them catch full time at levels they’ve already played well at and move them up after a half-season or if the batting numbers are something like .390/.510/.600/.1100 after a month or two.

                  I don’t see the downside.

              • Mike bk says:

                I think murphy will go to SI after extended ST, perkins (the aussie) will probably be at GCL with Sanchez.

        • AA -> AAA isn’t as big a jump as A->AA. It’s not really rushing him at this point.

          • It’s just a difference in philosophy. I totally get why you guys want him to start in AAA, I’m just, as I stipulated, more conservative when it comes to prospect promotions. I’d just rather eliminate some risk by just keeping the kid in AA for a month or two (again, I’m talking a short-term wait here). I’m not accusing anyone of being too aggressive or rushing the kid, I’d just move that very little bit slower.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      Yup. No need to rush him. His value as a Catcher is so much greater, he’s young, we don’t seemingly have any real holes needed now—let him develop defensive skills and better pitch recognition.

      As much as I love Jesus, I don’t want to see him this year.

      • Chris says:

        I disagree. As much as people argue that Montero is improving as a catcher and will be able to play there in the majors, I think it’s pretty clear that he’s going to have to move off th position at some point (relatively early) in his career. If they anticipate that by age 27 he won’t be a full time catcher any more, then there is a lot of added value in bringing him up early so you can get the value of his years at catcher on the ML team and not in the minors.

        • It’s clear to you that he can’t be a catcher, but it’s not clear to the Yankees. I think the Yankees’ opinion is more important and better informed than yours.

          He may wind up moving away from catcher, but it’s anything but clear at this point that that’s going to happen.

    • Man Mondesi, I’m just not feeling “El Carpintero”. It’s too obvious. We should organize a nickname contest. I’ll throw the name “El Torito” in the hat, but I’m not married to it.

  9. bullwinkles says:

    Why don’t they start teaching him how to play the outfield if he’s not a legit chance as a catcher?

    • Steve H says:

      Because the Yankees do think he has a chance to stay at catcher. Otherwise you are right, they would obviously move him off ASAP.

      • Evil Empire says:

        Much more trade value as a catcher too. Just sayin’

        • Steve H says:

          Don’t say that. Ever again.

          • Evil Empire says:

            It really is hard to imagine the type of trade it would take to get equal value for Montero. Even if he becomes a 1B/DH type, this kid will fuck shit up hardcore.

            • vin says:

              Axisa might disagree with you. (see today’s chat)

              • Doug says:

                was going to say the same thing vin. mike said he deal the man-child for 50+ players in baseball right now

              • Evil Empire says:

                Naw I think we’re on the same page. He mentioned 50 major leaguers and guys like Heyward.

                Trades for any of those guys would be epic.

              • Salty Buggah says:

                Well, I might also consider trading Jesus for a 27 yr old (28 in July) who OPS’d .946 in 08 and .883 this past year (interestingly he had double the ABs in 09 than in 08 so maybe he got exposed slightly?) who provides average D at a corner OF position.

                Might. I wont give up Jesus as quickly Mike was willing to but I would consider it.

                • vin says:

                  One of the (many) nice things about Montero is that he plays a position that will be fully available after 2011. There’s inherent value in that.

                  I’m a big fan of Choo, but buying a great corner OF is easier to do than a great catcher.

                • Doug says:

                  but that’s the question, vin. he may not be able to stay behind the plate

                • vin says:

                  True, or so the critics have told me. However, I’m yet to see someone from the Yankees express that concern.

                  I don’t know who to believe… but I do know that there have been plenty of successful big catchers. And, of course, Mike Piazza will be going to the HOF as a hitter who just so happened to catch. Time will tell, I guess.

                • Doug says:

                  i have not read any non-yankee “expert” (scout, analyst, whatever) say they think montero will be a big league catcher.

                  but it is the yanks opinion that matters most because he does don the pinstripes.

                  and, yeah, if montero becomes even half of piazza, we’re sitting pretty

          • ecksodia says:

            He won’t be able to. I think he was burnt to a crisp by the righteous fury of God.

    • Doug says:

      because his value is highest as a catcher. yanks are gonna try their darndest to make it work as it’s in their best interest

  10. iYankees says:

    Gotta love Montero.

  11. Salty Buggah says:

    Can’t wait until the date of his HOF induction is announced

    /kidding…kinda

  12. Mike bk says:

    I still cant believe if it actually happened that the Marlins turned down Smoak and Feliz for JJ. JJ is a stud, but so are both those kids they got offered and if they are going to eventually deal JJ anyway, should have taken it.

  13. [...] America’s John Manuel, Jesus Montero is the fifth best prospect in all of baseball (props to RAB). Manuel states that Montero is the “minors’ best hitter,” which is a pretty [...]

  14. Guest says:

    I would rather see Montero get an entire year in AAA. From everything I have seen, he is a big kid who is incredibly raw from a defensive standpoint. But importantly, he has a strong work ethic and shown pretty consistent improvement defensively. If this is the case, we should do everything in our power to see if he can develop into even an adequate defensive catcher (somewhere along the lines of Jorge, slightly better than Piazza). His value would be immense if he could pull that off and reaches his ceiling as a hitter. If we bring him up to be a DH or corner outfielder half-way through the season, he will lose an important year of defensive development. Moreover, we might fall into the same confirmation bias if he mashes as a DH or a corner outfielder that we have fallen into with Joba and Phil out of the bullpen, which would make it impossible for the team to send him back to the minors in 2011 to finish his defensive seasoning.

    He’s a diamond in the rough that is thisclose to being finished. Let’s not rush the process and diminish the luster on the crown jewel.

  15. larryf says:

    We have a latin dynasty at catcher from coach Pena to Posada/Molina/Cervelli/Montero. The older guys should be able to teach Montero all the tricks. He should succeed. I am also looking forward this year to watch Cervelli’s defensive skills-I think he is a talent behind the plate…

  16. salvatore Interlandi says:

    What do you guys think about handing the kid an OF’ers glove? This is not due to our open LF spot… I do believe Jesus needs more ABs in the minors, but if he isn’t seen as a C of the future and 1b is blocked why not OF.

    • larryf says:

      he doesn’t run well from the little I’ve seen but hey Babe Ruth didn’t run well either I’m told….and their hitting is about even according to the RAB world…

  17. Bob Michaels says:

    Jesus can hit, why not bring him to the Big club in the Sept 2010 call up to have him get that playoff fever.

  18. t says:

    Unless someone gets hurt I don’t see him being called up. It’s certainly possible but unless there is a relatively large hole in the lineup it would be best to keep him in the minors where he can develop.

  19. YFan says:

    Hey guys, anyone know the Blog/Site Lane Meyer from NoMaas is on now? His draft coverage is one of the best.

  20. V says:

    So.. um… pure hypothetical.

    Let’s say Jesus gets his token Spring Training ABs. And CRUSHES THE BALL. Like, Monstero .400/.500/.600 style. And plays ok defense. Then goes to AAA to start the season, and continues mashing.

    How long until he’s promoted?

  21. V says:

    “Q. Why in the world did anybody have to “push” to get Mike Piazza promoted?

    A. As Wright explains, “visual scouts” — as he calls them — place far too much emphasis on the physical gifts of quick feet and strong throwing arm, for catchers.

    Piazza never had and never developed either of these things, and according to Wright, many times an ML organization looks at practically nothing else in a young catcher. “You have to play defense first,” is the paradigm, and “without the feet and the arm you can’t play defense,” is the reasoning. So scouts viewed Piazza as absolutely not a realistic choice from catcher, all the way up through his rookie year.

    They still look at it that way. Most people think of Piazza as a guy who hit a ton, but who gave a lot of it back on defense.”

    http://seattlesportsinsider.co.....f-clement/

  22. Chris Brown says that Bieber “reminds him of himself a couple of many years ago” & he “sees a lot of himself” in Justin. Someone warn Selena Gomez.

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