Kevin Goldstein’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects

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Kevin Goldstein posted his midseason top 50 prospects list today (subs. req’d), and he has Jesus Montero ranked as the seventh best prospect in the game. “He has not yet put up big numbers this year,” said KG, “there is clearly a frustration factor as he has nowhere to go in New York. At some point, the Yankees just have to trade him and accept the fact that he’ll rake elsewhere.” Montero was third overall in his preseason list.

The Yankees placed three others on the list. Manny Banuelos ranked 14th (“remains a lefty with two excellent pitches in his fastball and changeup … poised for a big second half), Dellin Betances ranked 24th (“whispers about him possibly being better off as a late-inning reliever are becoming more common these days”), and Gary Sanchez ranked 39th (“shown impressive power for an 18-year-old … scouts [still] project him as an adequate defender”). The Rangers are the only other team with four top 40 prospects, the Royals the only other with four in the top 50.

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  • bonestock94

    I’d be content with Montero raking at Coors

    • Reggie C.

      Heh. While Montero rakes in Coors, he’ll undoubtedly witness Manny Banuelos debut with the Rox next season. Of course, if Ubaldo Jimenez brings his 200 K, sub-1.30 WHIP to the Bronx, i’ll be happy with the trade.

      • CC’s third leg

        Manny is untouchable. I would honestly rather give up Hughes than ManBan

        • https://twitter.com/#!/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

          No prospect is untouchable. Not even Bryce Harper.

  • Gonzo

    Not too shabby. Cool to see Sanchez still up there.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    I’d move Montero to DH. Catchers break down at an obscene rate, his bat’s just too damn valuable to let that happen. I’d be happy with a valuable DH/back up catcher for a few years.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    “There is clearly a frustration factor as [Montero] has nowhere to go in New York.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catcher
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_Hitter

    “At some point, the Yankees just have to trade him and accept the fact that he’ll rake elsewhere.”

    OR: At some point, the Yankees just have to promote him and leave him in the lineup for the next decade. There’s that, too.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Catcher is not a possibility. It just isn’t, not because he can’t play catcher or anything like that he’s just too fucking big to stick at catcher. He’s historically large for a catcher and his bat’s just too damn good to risk at catcher. How many catchers over 6’3 and 220 pounds have had anything close to a long career? Joe Mauer’s basically broken. the Indians are moving a smaller catcher who’s twice the defender that Montero is to first base, and the Nationals moved a guy who is a similar size but five times the athlete to the outfield because they don’t want to risk him getting hurt. It’d be nice if he could catch, but it’s not happening. He’s too big and the position is too demanding for a man of his size.

      DH? Not this year, Posada’s hitting well and they’re not going to promote him to replace Posada nor will they promote him and give him patchwork playing time. DH long term? I’d like to see it but I doubt it. They have A-Rod on the books for a few more years and he’ll need plenty of time at DH. That could be a legitimate possibility, but this generation there’s been so few regular DHs Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, and David Ortiz are the only ones that I can think of…so that’s the standard that he’s going to have to live up too.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        A: I never said he had to be a catcher or a DH for the big league team this year in 2011. 2012 is just fine.

        B: He doesn’t have to be a catcher his whole life. He can start behind the dish, be a traveshamockery there like Victor Martinez was but still provide oodles of positional value, and then move to DH or 1B in his mid/late 20s like Martinez/Mauer/countless others.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Victor Martinez is still smaller than Montero, and Joe Mauer has yet to recover. He has fewer HRs this year than DEREK JETER. Yeah, he had some awesome seasons for a few years…but he’s basically cooked and he’s not even 30. Oh yeah, he’s also still owed another 160M or so. Victor Martinez (playing time split and health) is like…the absolute best case scenario for Jesus Montero. It’s like Phil Hughes turning into Mike Mussina. Bottom line I wouldn’t want Montero catching more than 60 games a year.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Bottom line: Neither Victor Martinez nor Joe Mauer (with ZOMG SO FEW HOMERS!!!) are Jesus Montero.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              Okay, still think Joe Mauer’s got something left in him? .277 wOBA and a .299 BABIP. The dude’s cooked. Most people should take this as a warning for large catchers.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                A: Montero and Mauer are still not the same person. What happened to Mauer is not by default going to happen to Montero.

                B: If you’re that spooked by it, have Montero move off catcher earlier than Mauer did. Let Montero catch for a year or two or three, until Romine/Sanchez/someone else is ready to take over. Or make some other decision 4 years from now when we have to start actually worrying about potential pitfalls that haven’t even remotely materialized yet.

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_aversion

                  Jesus Montero is historically large for a catcher. Do you understand how few catchers that have been his size? Do you understand that the catchers his size all get hurt and eventually break down? Are you aware that his bat has Frank Thomas/Miguel Cabrera potential, and that whatever value you get by having him catch will be offset by the inevitable injury that happens to him shortening his career?

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    I am aware of risk aversion, yes.

                    I am also aware that your level of aversion to risk borders on the criminally insane, so… yeah, I’m not getting too freaked out by what freaks you out. Thanks, though.

                    • Jimmy McNulty

                      So, basically you’re ignoring what everyone in the scouting industry, the SABR community, and even the old fart traditional analysts are saying? Well…good luck with that.

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      No, basically I’m saying you constantly think the sky is falling and the worst case scenario is what is going to happen, so you saying “Jesus Montero will be done before age 30 just like Joe Mauer is done before age 30″ doesn’t make me believe that either Montero nor Mauer will in fact be done before age 30.

                      I’m not saying I’m right and that scouts and analysts are wrong, I’m saying you’re an unreliable narrator.

              • Gonzo

                I kinda wish the Sawx had him for $180mm.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                I’ll go out on a limb and say that Mauer has something left in him.

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  Perhaps a solid season or two, but I doubt he’ll ever have an all-star quality season again.

                  • https://twitter.com/#!/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

                    I laughed.

                    Mauer 2008-2009 is not happening again, but he’s got many good years, and I’ll bet he’s an All-Star… next year.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        They have A-Rod on the books for a few more years and he’ll need plenty of time at DH.

        ARod is currently one of the two or three best defensive third basemen in all of baseball. Even with all his bumps and bruises.

        There’s a legitimate possibility that ALL THREE of the aging vets that people keep penciling in for DH (ARod, Jeter, and Tex) all remain at their primary positions for the full durations of their contracts. ARod and Tex stay in great shape and are both still excellent fielders. Jeter is a special case that we don’t need to rehash here.

        The future DH logjam is A.) probably overstated and B.) not something we need to worry about for the next 2-4 years.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      You would be surprised how many ppl think Jesus will never play a second in the Bronx

      • nsalem

        okay how many?

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Starts to count

    • David, Jr.

      I believe it is likely that he will be traded.

      C – Very doubtful.
      1B – Occupied by All Star level player.
      DH – Won’t be needed.

      • David, Jr.

        Plus, lots of Catchers in the system and extreme need for another dominant starter.

  • Brandon

    Montero should be DH. Posada is done. He really is. You cant have 8 guys platooning there all the time. You just cant. Posada is just taking someone elses spot. I wish he knew that its time and has been. Look, I love Posada but he does not add anything to this team. Montero does. In fact I wouldnt be surprised if the Yankees are hoping he hangs it up already. Hes just there now. No real presence and is just taking someones spot now, and that someone is Jesus Montero.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      That sounds great, let’s do it.

      Sincerely,
      2012

    • Ted Nelson

      Posada has also been a lot more done from the right side than the left… so Montero could be a nice platoon guy at DH and back-up C. If he were raking in AAA this would be a real possibility.

  • Oscar Gamble’s ‘Fro

    Is there any precedent for a guy coming up so young just to be a DH? Curious, I have no idea. Even if there isn’t, I have no problem with the Yankees becoming young DH trailblazers.

  • Oscar Gamble’s ‘Fro

    Is there any precedent for a guy as young as Montero being called up to be a DH? Curious and have no idea. Even if there isn’t, I’m perfectly ok with the Yanks being young DH trailblazers.

    • YankeesJunkie

      I am okay with Montero being a back up C trailblazer as well twice or thrice a week as well.

      • Oscar Gamble’s ‘Fro

        That is, if he really can catch on even a low end major league level. I’ve never seen him play, but the narrative seems to be that he’s like Nunez or worse behind the plate. You just can’t have that at catcher in the midst of a pennant race.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          And yet, here we are, with Nuñez at 3B and SS in the midst of a pennant race.

          • Oscar Gamble’s ‘Fro

            What’s your point?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              That the statement that “You just can’t have that at catcher in the midst of a pennant race.” is probably wrong.

              The Yankees can, have, and probably will have horrible (i.e. Nuñezian, Cervellian, Posadaesque) defense at catcher in the midst of a pennant run. Montero may be a disastrophe of epic proportions, but if he hits well (which is likely) and the other 12 position players and 12 pitchers on the roster do their jobs well (also likely), this team can compete for a title with craptastic catcher defense.

        • Ted Nelson

          If he can hit it won’t matter. Carlos Santana, for example, is pretty awful behind the plate, but still gets reps there. Yankees could do that with Montero between C and DH if he can hit like Carlos Santana (not that Santana is hitting like Carlos Santana this season either).

          Piazza likewise couldn’t catch for squat, and Jorge wasn’t usually much better.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Hopefully they call up Montero before September 1 so he is at least an option for the Yankees playoff team in October. Hopefully, there is no rush to put Dellin in the pen unless that is a late 2012 role after he got 150 innings of starting in AAA. Finally, I still love me some Gary Sanchez. Everyone is going to make mistakes, but not everyone is going to hit above average at C especially in the Sally league at 18. The defense is still very raw, but so is Sanchez.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      We have tons of players on the 60-day DL, he doesn’t need to be up before September 1 to be on the playoff roster.

      Colin Curtis is happy to be at your service.

      • YankeesJunkie

        To be on the playoff roster (25 man) you have to play on the 25 man roster before September 1st with exceptions of injuries (a la K-Rod in 2002).

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          And Colin Curtis is just that injury you speak of. Curtis’s presence on the 60-day DL means we get one free position player addition to the postseason roster eligibility. Reegie Corona could give us two.

          Joba Chamberlain and Pedro Feliciano means we get two more pitchers.

          (I’ll assume Chavez, Soriano, and Marte all make it back to the bigs before October 1st, so I didn’t include them.)

          • YankeesJunkie

            To be eligible for a team’s playoff roster a player must be on any of the following: (a) the 25 man active roster, (b) the disabled list, (c) the bereavement list, or (d) the suspended list as of August 31 at midnight[citation needed]. The only exception is that a player on the 60-day disabled list may be replaced by another player from the team’s 40-man roster (as of August 31) who plays the same position (i.e. position player for position player, or pitcher for pitcher), with the approval of the commissioner of baseball.

            I got this from wiki, but it sounds right so my bad I was going off a stricter interpretation of the rule.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              The only exception is that a player on the 60-day disabled list may be replaced by another player from the team’s 40-man roster (as of August 31) who plays the same position (i.e. position player for position player, or pitcher for pitcher), with the approval of the commissioner of baseball.

              That’s not accurate; the player merely has to be in the organization as of August 31st, he does not need to be on the 40-man roster as of that date. K-Rod, in that famous example, was not added to either the 40 or 25 man rosters until September.

              We can’t sign Andy Pettitte on September 7th and add him to the playoff roster using the Joba Chamberlain exemption, but we can add Manny Banuelos to the playoff roster using that exemption, because Manny was signed to a contract to one of the Yankee affiliates during the year.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                Italics close tag fail.

            • Gonzo

              Is Montero on the 40-man? Serious question. I am on my phone and I didn’t think he was.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                No.

                • CP

                  I thought they tightened the rules in the 40 man roster vs just in the org a few years ago to stop things like KRod.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    If they did, I missed it.

                    My bad (if so).

  • Monteroisdinero

    There are many who say Montero can’t catch who have never seen him catch. If the scouts say so, it must be true. I’m no scout but i’ve seen him catch quite a bit. Well, SWB had a darn good year last year with Montero catching and may have won it all had he not gotten hurt. Nobody ran wild on him and he didn’t set a record for passed balls and calling terrible games etc. Again, Jorge began catching for us at 25/26, was never stellar back there and Montero will be alot better in the next year or two with more experience. He is 21 and one of the youngest players in AAA. No place for him with a starting catcher hitting .220 and a backup .210? Neither one of them sparks fear in baserunners.
    As for size, you can make the case in many ways.

    Sincerely,
    Carlton Fisk

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    Send Montero to the OF & bring him up next yr and break him into RF & spend time with Swisher, Than during the All-Star break next yr use Swisher for a trade & keep Montero in RF.

    Sign the Prince for your DH spot next yr. With his left handed swing & sandwiched in the 3-4-5 spot at Yankees Stadium he’ll hit 50 HR.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Montero cannot play RF. I would venture to say you have not seen him play. It would be like putting Posada in RF. Not a pleasant thought.

      Bring him up now and let him catch CC and DH twice a week.

      • FishJam

        THIS!

        He platoons with Posada at DH and Catches once or twice a wk.
        Does anyone have any information on his injury?

  • DerMegalodonster

    Whispers?… like, from the aisles of B-Jobbers Hardware & Plumbing?
    Good grief.
    Let’s see… a big, tall, young pitcher who hasn’t thrown many innings in his career who’s pitching to a 2 something ERA with a more than a K per inning in AA, who can maintain a mid-nineties fastball deep in the game with an outstanding secondary pitch and a solid third pitch should be moved to the pen? Brilliant!
    Can we get the names of these people and nominate them for a “Darwin Award” or something?…
    Or, lynch them. Drastic? Nonsense my boy. If they are *that* dumb in baseball things they can’t be constructive in other human affairs… they couldn’t possibly.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      The Yankee organization where stud prospects because relievers and then have trouble starting again

    • Ted Nelson

      “whispers about him possibly being better off as a late-inning reliever are becoming more common these days”

      That doesn’t mean anyone has said to give up on him as a starter, it means that they think his long-term future might be in the bullpen because he’s got no command.

  • D-Lite

    Am I the only one enjoying the lack of Sox players on the list? Only two and the highest is Brentz at #38. Theo is teh genius!

  • Your mom

    Would anyone be happy with this trade?

    Ubaldo Jimenez for:

    Jesus Montero
    Dellin Betances
    Corban Joseph
    One of David Phelps/Adam Warren/Hector Noesi/Ivan Nova

    • Jim

      Yes, I would. That’s far too much to give up for Jimenez. When are the Yankees going to realize that championships are won by developing a solid core (Bernie, Jeter, Posada, Soriano, Mo) from within and adding a FA or two when in the ascent phase. Hell, the Pirates are a game out and half their roster is Yankee castoffs. Ian Kennedy, who got all of, what, 8 starts in NY, is 10-3 and the Diamondbacks’ ace. I realize the NL is weaker and that Ian may not have ever been successful in the AL East. But we’ll never know because they dispatched him like he was a plague carrier. Cashman’s decision making often makes me think he’s got some kind of self-hatred complex. “If we drafted him, he can’t be any good.” They screwed up Joba, seem to have screwed up Hughes, and got rid of Kennedy. I don’t want them to do the same with Banuelos, Betances, Warren and Montero. And I’m very wary of trading for NL pitchers.

      • Ted Nelson

        “Ian may not have ever been successful in the AL East. But we’ll never know because they dispatched him like he was a plague carrier.”

        That is not at all true. They trade him for a star in the “ascent phase” as you put it: Curtis Granderson. They literally did what you say is a good thing to do, and you act like they gave up on him. You can’t trade nothing and get stars.

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    You really have to admire Tampa’s organization. A small market team that not only drafted well but developed their pleyers in the farm system. They were horrible as an expansion for yrs & got some great draft picks because of it. \They started with their outfield. Then they built a great pitching staff & a great young 3B in Longoria signed some smaller named FA that blossomed in Tampa (Soriano & Pena’ to name a few). They seem to also have hired a good manager in Joe Maddon, taking them to the playoffs & winning the AL Pennant in his 3rd season.

    Now the Yankees dont have the high picks Tampa had but they seem to have some very good prospects now but can they be developed into true MLB Stars?

    The first group of prospects that came up this decade were Wang & Cano. Wang looked like a front of the rotation pitcher for the next 10 yrs. Cano developed & got serious right after Melky was traded. Now he is a Super Star.

    It looked like we were building another core with Hughes, Joba, & Kennedy. Kennedy’s tearing it up in the NL, Jobas was never the same after he hurt his arm in Boston as a starter than went back & forth & got ruined. Hughes seems to be getting over a mysterious dead arm, but that sounds like he blew up his arm shortly after last yrs All-Star break.

    Montero may be a great offesnive hitter but he cant catch. Forget 1B & DH will be A-Rods over the next few yrs thanks to ehis mega contract.

    • Monteroisdinero

      He can catch as well as Posada did for us. He is ok now at 21 and will get better with maturity.

    • Ted Nelson

      A-Rod is playing the best defense he’s played as a Yankee and is not even 36 years old yet…