Jesus Montero has the audacity to work on his defense behind the plate

Open Thread: Yet another YouTube video
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Anthony McCarron wrote a great piece about Yanks’ top prospect Jesus Montero yesterday evening, chronicling the youngster’s workouts behind the plate in Tampa last week. He’s fielding fungos to simulate wild pitches, working on shortening his throwing motion, things of that nature. More importantly, McCarron notes that the Yankees are committed to seeing if he can stick behind the plate long-term, which would obviously boost his value. There’s no harm in letting him in try.

Make sure you check it out, it’s a great article. Aside from all the defense stuff, McCarron also touches on Montero’s hobby of building race cars, which he inherited from his father. My favorite quote: “I hope they don’t trade me because I want to be with them the rest of my life.” Same here Jesus, same here.

Open Thread: Yet another YouTube video
These Rules belong to Phil
  • Hey Kelvin says

    Let’s go Jesus! hope to see him as a September call up or if everything goes outstanding 2011 starting C?

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    He’s fielding fungos to simulate wild pitches, working on shortening his throwing motion, things of that nature.

    He’s also taking into account households that have more than two television sets, and other things of that nature.

    • Mike Pop

      Great minds.

      • Spaceman.Spiff

        Yes? Please, go on.

        • Christos

          great name, from calvin and hobbes right?

          • Pete C.

            I prefer spaceman spliff.

  • Jake H

    We have heard this for a few season’s with Montero. The guy really wants to be a catcher.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      (trying to decipher the implied tone of these sentences, which can be interpreted in two distinctly different ways; failing to do so)

    • andrew

      season’s seasons

  • larryf

    I’ve seen Pena hit those fungos to Cervelli in Spring Training. He can hit rockets and is very accurate…

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    Anybody know how far Montero is from, say, Piazza levels behind the plate, which is more or less the absolute low we can go in defense prowess for his type of bat?

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Piazza was a decent enough defensive catcher, he just couldn’t throw worth a damn. If Montero can catch like Piazza and throw like he does now he’ll be fine.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        So, how far his he from catching like Jorge, who I’ll make the new bench low, since while he has a better arm than Piazza he’s worse at blocking balls.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          I would bet that Jesus isn’t that far away from being a passable major league catcher. I think one of the biggest things he has to get used to now, is the quality of major league pitchers pitches. The curve balls and sliders break sharper, the fastballs have more movement, etc..
          All that the Yankees and the fans can ask of Jesus now is to work hard, and I have no doubt that he is doing exactly that.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            If Jesus has Jorge Posada level defense that would be absolutely fantastic. If he sticks at catcher he would become really pretty close to invaluable.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            Do you think he has a good chance of improving enough to stick at catcher?

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona

              Absolutely. I have no doubt that he can stick at catcher.

        • GG2000

          From Moshe’s site courtesy of BA’s John Manuel:

          he’s probably a 30 defender on an MLB level but some scouts would give him a 40. But 40 isn’t good enough unless you hit like Mike Piazza. Can this guy hit like Piazza? Maybe. Can he hit like Posada, who has been a 40 receiver most of his career but is a better thrower than Montero? I think he will hit like Jorge Posada, at least produce like Jorge Posada.

          But catching everyday in the major leagues is such a grind, and Montero’s bat is potentially so special, that I think he’ll be a reserve catcher, 40-50 games a year, and more of a full-time DH. I think if he’s hitting .300/.400/.550, which is realistic, then it doesn’t matter if he’s a DH, then he’s a 4-hole hitter on a championship team and plenty valuable.

          • pete

            perfectly put. If the guy has a potentially miguel cabrera-esque bat, there’s too much at risk in asking him to catch 120+ games a year with his build. I think the goal for him should be to become as good at catching as possible, but the goal for the yankees should be to maximize his production, not his trade value. That, I believe, will come from his being a DH/reserve catcher for the majority of his career, thus reducing the damage that squatting does on a big player’s knees.

            Look at Frank Thomas – incredibly valuable player for a very long time and did essentially nothing but DH. Imagine that, plus the ability to catch whenever necessary. Obviously it’s ridiculous to expect Jesus to become Frank Thomas with the bat, but is it ridiculous to think that he might? I’d say no.

        • Pete C.

          Not to mention the plate.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    Montero’s first act as catcher? Throwing out Ellsbury of course!

  • Do Not Feed The Trolls!

    He doesnt have to be a catcher majority of his career imo. I would love it if he was but I wouldnt mind him moving to 1B in 2016.Thats only if his defense is terrible and not passable at C.

  • Camilo Gerardo

    We are all witnesses 2.0 Nike

  • mason.flint

    i wonder if the yanks would sacrifice a few months of development behind the plate in order to bring jesus up as the righty power bat in july. or as a replacement for Nick Johnson if (when) he hits the DL for a significant amount of time.

    • Camilo Gerardo

      bra, NJ is the full time DH. Are you really thinking he’d get injured? get off the shed!

      It seems september call-up is teh safe bet. If Jorge pulls a Hammie or something, though, I could see Jesus up and getting on the job training. That would be wild, but I won’t plot for injury of Jorge

    • pete

      If NJ goes down and Jesus is raking at AAA, my guess is that he will indeed come up to split time at DH and catcher (which would help keep Jorge’s bat productive). But if NJ stays healthy, which isn’t as unlikely as people seem to think, then he’ll come up in September, and probably catch 3-4 games a week and be a bench player the other 3-4 days. Believe me, Jorge only catching 2 games a week (i’m assuming Cervelli gets about a game a week) could be HUGE as far as keeping him strong for the playoffs.

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