Montero ranks fifth among top International League prospects

The RAB Radio Show: October 7, 2011
Nova has Grade I flexor strain in right forearm

Baseball America posted their final Yankees-relevant minor league top 20 today, placing Jesus Montero fifth among all Triple-A International League prospects. Matt Moore, Julio Teheran, Devin Mesoraco, and Desmond Jennings were the four players ahead of Montero. No other Yankees farmhands made the list.

In the subscriber-only scouting report, James Bailey says Montero “doesn’t have the prettiest swing but compensates with exceptional strength and hand-eye coordination,” and he “crushes balls to all fields and projects as a .300 hitter with 30 homers per year.” As always, the question is his defense behind the plate. “He has arm strength but has a slow release and lacks accuracy on his throws,” said Bailey. “He lacks athleticism and still has a ways to go with his receiving and game-calling, and he loses focus too often.” Montero’s bat is big league ready, we saw that in September, but the Yankees will have to come up with a way to get him in the lineup for 600+ at-bats next year.

The RAB Radio Show: October 7, 2011
Nova has Grade I flexor strain in right forearm
  • Total Dominication

    How can he be 3rd in the minors but 5th in the league?

    • Gonzo

      They don’t think he’s 3rd in the Minors anymore. Probably much lower this offseason.

  • Peter

    Right field.

    • Pants Lendelton

      2012 Montero Narrative??

    • RJ

      Certainly he has the arm, I suspect Swish might be out the door, I think some of the Yankee brass consider his defense a bit too raw behind the plate, and I’d like his bat in the line up the day after a night game.

      I’d say 1st base, but Bore-Ass’s ex-client has a full no trade.

      • CP

        Why would Swisher be out the door?

        He led the team in OBP this year among regulars. Among Yankees with at least 1 PA, his OBP was third – behind Montero and…. Brian Gordon.

        • Cuso

          probably because his .OBP is the only argument in his favor.

          Nick Johnson had a great .OBP too

          • AndrewYF

            This goes for my nomination of stupidest post of the year.

  • Kosmo

    Jennings can´t really be considered a prospect anymore. So that makes Montero the number 2 hitting prospect. Flip a coin.

    • Kosmo

      Actually I meant Montero is the number 2 non- pitching prospect. The only reason the 23 yr old Mesoraco is ahead of Montero on the list is because he´s apparently a good defensive catcher but Montero projects to be a better hitter. Makes very little sense.

      • Gonzo

        There’s 30 runs of positional adjustment from catcher to DH over 600 AB’s.

        They could have also factored in Montero’s platoon split. Devin hasn’t shown one in the minors this year.

        There area also a lot of other things that may have factored into this. Carlos Santana was 24 when he hit AAA. Does that make him less of a player?

  • Gonzo

    Lavarnway at #14. This made me smile.

    • RJ

      I live in CT used to live in Western MA, and saw a lot of NECBL (College Summer League games) he played there, I’d like to see the league grow and think it will if more players go to MLB, Strasburg closed for Torrington in 07? So we’ll see.

      That aside… lol

  • Dennis

    hopefully montero ads another 300 hitter to the line up. Enough crappy 270 onbase bitches. the new free agent and trade rule should be u don’t hit 300 u don’t play for Yankees.

    • Jetrer

      only 25 non-Yankees hit .300 this season, of those, almost nobody would fill a position of need, be available, and be an upgrade over what the Yankees already have. Probably the only possibility would be Beltran, who hit an even .300, but is too old and fragile to be worth signing.

    • TomH

      Don’t know enough about Montero yet to risk a guess on him as a .300 hitter some day. However, on your point about .300 guys generally: I’m all for obp guys, but I do think you also need a lineup with people who can hit as well as take pitches, have “good at-bats,” get lots of walks, etc. I was looking at Musial’s record from 1946-1957 today: .340/.427/.590/1.017. Well, yeah, he was Stan THE MAN and guys like that don’t come around too often. But you can also get good obp figures by getting lots of base hits, moving guys around by one or two or three bases! (Stan had over 1000 bb’s during those years, by the way.)

      Jeez, just a good solid professional hitter, like Pinella, O’Neill, Henrich, Bauer, who doesn’t think that every at-bat is like the old Sinatra song: All (HR) or Nothing At All.

    • Ana

      Not sure if trolling or just very stupid

  • Monteroisdinero

    Montero’s arm >>>>Swish but not sure if he can get to enough balls in RF. I prefer the 40-50 games catcher, the rest DH scenario. Keep him from AJ and he’ll be fine. When he came out of the final game in Tampa, we were up 7-0 and no passed balls! He has survived Betances and Brackman.

    Focus will come with maturity and getting burned a few times. It is a normal process unless you are Gritty Peedy.

    I think 1B would be a better 2nd position than Rf-think Jorge-but Tex isn’t going anywhere and we need that defense with Arod, Jeter and Nunez throwing.

    • David, Jr.

      I’m with you. DH and backup catcher. He isn’t an outfielder type at all. This is nasty, but think Travis Hafner. However, as a hitter at say age 24, think just about anybody.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    I just don’t see how he isn’t a top ten prospect in baseball. 5th in the IL he’ll definitely be out of the top ten on the top 100.

    • Gonzo

      Don’t shoot the messenger, but he showed a huge platoon split this year (his OBP against rightes this year was 1 point higher than Jeter’s). They don’t think he can play catcher, and in his second year of AAA, he didn’t improve significantly.

      I love Montero, but let’s not act like he’s Miggy or Pujols 2.0 right now.

      • David, Jr.

        The key words are “right now”. Look at his minor league record, when he was the youngest player in more than one league that he played in. Look at what he did after being called up. Then project him to about age 24. Ceilings aren’t always reached, but his hitting ceiling is off of the charts.

        • Gonzo

          I am just saying there are reasons (valid ones) why he isn’t rated higher. I don’t think everyone should be in shock when he is ranked in the teens, or worse, this offseason.

          That really doesn’t mean much though. #5 to #20 really means little when you are at the AAA level already. Miggy never made the top 10, and Pujols barely cracked the top 50. There are also a ton of other big bats that cracked the top 10 and really didn’t live up to expectations.

          If he hits in the bigs, he hits in the bigs. I am not going to automatically assume that any warts will wash away in time though. He’s gotta work on them, and even if he does, that’s not a given that they’ll go away.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        He had a worse year this year in AAA than he did last year, so what? His skills all of the sudden got worse? Did the IL get that much better? I mean, I don’t buy the “he was bored” line of reasoning any more than either of you do, but I think his performance this year was NOT indicative of his true talent level. He hit .350/.500 with 20 HRs at AAA last year at age 20, but all of the sudden he repeats it and he does worse? I don’t buy that as meaningful of anything. He had a VERY impressive big league cup of copy and took a namebrand deep, he’s also gotten some hits of a few namebands. So while he’s not Cabrera or Pujols, now, I don’t think his down year in the IL is anything to get too worked up over.

    • Bean Tooth

      Ultimately, who cares what number they give him. He has shown he has what it takes to be a special player in this league. This time next year, no one will be thinking about his prospect ranking as he’s leading the Yanks to the World Series.

  • Monteroisdinero

    I predict if Joe G would just let go of the reins, we will quickly see a transition to Montero being our most dangerous right handed hitter who can take right handed pitching up and over the right field wall.

    It is gonna be awesome.

    His swing isn’t pretty but it’s a perfect combination of smooth and violent. The last swing of our season last night was pretty-pretty swings count less than solid contact.

    I love it.

  • Monteroisdinero

    And another thing: people look at his 18 -21 HR’s in the minors. He hit alot of balls to the track in right and right center. He’ll hit 30 with the Yanks as an everyday bat next year.

  • Sarah

    Any reason why the Yankees couldn’t teach him to play 3B, similar to what the Giants did with Pablo Sandoval? Obviously ARod won’t play 3rd every day for the rest of his contract, and it seems like if Jesus could play both corners of the infield, that’s an asset.

    I have no idea how this works, but like I said, the Giants converted Sandoval from catcher to 3B pretty successfully (so far).

    • Rod

      I’ve thought the same thing. Montero is a young guy, have him take an offseason in Miami working out with A-Rod and he could make great strides. He wo ‘t be Brooks Robinson but I have to imagine that with enough training a young kid can fake the funk for a few years.

  • Sonny Smith

    What about Montero and Swisher platoon in RF? I can’t imagine the athletic droff being so severe. Give him a chance to win the job.

    • Doug

      Except that swish is a better right-handed hitter

  • infernoscurse

    Has anyone seen Montero run? i mean I love the guy i defend him constantly and want to give him every chance to be a yankee and not be traded away but hes not very athletic, Him in RF would make our Defense weak

  • Mike in Sunrise

    I don’t think we could make him a RF. He is pretty slow. However, his bat is electric and I can’t wait to see him play next year. A part of me really wanted to see Joe go out of the box in the 6th inning of game 5 when Martin came to the plate with the bases loaded and 1 out and pinch hit Montero. That would have taken balls, but we may have won if he did that.