Open Thread: Jesus Montero


(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Yankees have had no shortage of mega-hyped prospects in recent years, dating back to Drew Henson and Alfonso Soriano and continuing in recent years with Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy. Soriano and Joba came up and had immediate impact, just like the most recent mega-hyped Yankees prospect: Jesus Montero.

Montero started the 2010 season at Triple-A as a 20-year-old, posting a .375 wOBA with a career high 21 homers in 123 games. The Yankees sent him back there to start this season, and after a strong April he slumped through May and June. He hit the snot out of the ball after that, finishing the Triple-A season strong before getting his first taste of the big leagues on September 1st. The Yankees didn’t hold him back, Montero started at DH on Sept. 1st against Jon Lester and the Red Sox in Fenway Park in a game that carried major weight in the AL East race. He didn’t get a hit, but he was hit by a pitch in the later innings and scored the go-ahead run.

That first week in the big leagues just kept getting better and better. Montero scored that go-ahead run in his first game, then he picked up his first career hit in his second game. He had his first career two-hit game in his third contest, and then in his fourth game he hit his first two career homers. Montero hit .328/.406/.590 (.421 wOBA) in his 69 plate appearances in the season’s last month, twice homering off extreme sinkerballer Jim Johnson and also once off AL Cy Young Award runner-up Jered Weaver. He also hit one out of Junichi Tazawa.

Montero turns 22 years old today, the age when a typical American kid is getting ready to wrap up his senior year of college. He’s almost guaranteed to have a prominent role with the 2012 Yankees, either as a pure DH or a DH/backup catcher hybrid or something else entirely. If he hits, something he’s done his entire career, then the role is secondary. The Yankees will get Montero’s bat into the lineup everyday.

* * *

Here is tonight’s open thread. The Giants and Saints are your Monday Night Football matchup (8:30pm ET on ESPN), and that’s it for local sports. You can talk about anything you like here, it’s all fair game.

Please Help: There’s only two more days left to vote for Brian McElhinny for the 2011 Blogging Scholarship. I wish that existed when I was in school. Brian writes Raise The Jolly Roger, a great Pirates’ blog. Anyway, please click the link and go vote, it literally takes about five seconds, maybe less if you have a super-fast internet connection. Thanks.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Plank says:

    There’s quite the scuttlebutt happening on the comments section of that scholarship voting site.

  2. William says:

    Yeah………he’s getting traded.

  3. Play Da'rel Scott Now says:

    if the giants don’t do this i guarantee a loss

  4. Golson says:

    Was Drew Henson really that hyped a prospect? I truly don’t remember

  5. Dave203 says:

    I wonder if the Pirates would take Montero for McCutchen. I’m not a fan of trading Montero, but McCutchen or another promising OF might be a better option long-term. While I still have hope Montero can get some catching time in, it looks like he will be predominantly the DH which forces AROD and Jeter to stay in the field. I’d rather have a young, 5-tool position player if they’d make the deal.

    My ideal:
    Montero for McCutchen
    Swisher for Garza
    (add prospects other than ManBam/Betances as needed)

    • Rich in NJ says:

      In order to get even a decent return on investment, Jeter and A-Rod need to stay in the field as much as, and for as long as, possible. To this point, their respective defense is not a problem.

      • William says:

        Not a problem? ARod was good this year in 2011, saving 11 runs on defense, but age will soon catch up to him. JETER…… among the Worst defensive SS Ever. In his career, he has cost the The Yanks 120 runs on defense, and cost them 6.5 runs in 2011. JETER better be DHing when he’s in the last year of his contract.

        • Rich in NJ says:

          If Jeter is DHing v. RHP, they have a problem.

          • thenamestsam says:

            Yeah, seriously. If all Jeter can do is DH then a better position for him is definitely going to be bench. Even if he hits like last year he’s still worth about 2-3 wins on offense plus baserunning. The DH positional adjustment is -1.75 wins. That means his total value is going to be hovering barely above replacement level. This is the same problem with moving him to the outfield. If he can’t play shortstop he can’t hit enough to play anywhere else.

        • RetroRob says:

          How is that specifically quantified? I mean, I know that the flawed, but still useful, UZR shows that over seventeen seasons he’s cost the Yankees 119.9 runs on defense, or on average about seven runs a year over the 162-game schedules, and as noted he was right about on that average (actually slightly less) last year at negative 6.5. And, of course, since it’s always recommended that UZR (and all defensive stats) be looked at in three-year increments, we see that over the last three years, Jeter has cost the Yankees a total of 4.8 runs. Expanding it to four years, it’s 5.1 runs, or a little more than a run a season. Despite his age, it’s the strongest defensive stretch he’s had.

          So back to that statement that Jeter is among the worst defensive SS’s ever, well, we’re going to need an apples-to-apples comparison of all SS’s going back to the 1800s, using the same trusted metric. If you got that, let me know. Since almost all of the advanced defensive metrics have come out recently, it’s kind of difficult. UZR is also a cumulative stat, so since Jeter has played in the second most games at SS ever (or is he now first?), he of course is going to have a higher cumulative number. Saying that he’s among the worst defensive SS’s ever based on accumulating 119.9 lost runs in seventeen seasons would be like saying Johnny Damon is one of the greatest hitters ever by accumulating 2700+ hits to date.

          Jeter is in rarely charted territory here. He had one of the greatest seasons ever by a 37-year-old SS, but that’s also a limited group. Thirty-seven-year olds don’t start at SS, unless they have names like Jeter, Wagner and Appling. Jeter has already started in more than 500 games in his career at SS than Wagner did in his entire career, and more than 1000 games than Wagner at the end of their age 37 seasons. I’m quite confident that Jeter is a better defensive shortstop than Wagner, although it really is impossible to compare, which gets back to my original point. How are you coming up with this?

          • BigDavey88 says:

            +1 sir.

            Well done.

          • CS Yankee says:

            The best post of 2011, bar none.

          • thenamestsam says:

            While I agree that saying Jeter is one of the worst defensive short stops of all time is unfounded exaggeration, it’s worth noting that other defensive systems like Jeter’s defense even less than UZR. Total zone had him at -13 runs last year, an average of -6 over the last four years, and -141 runs all time. FRAA (my personal preference) had him at -10 last year, a four year average of -14, and a staggering -247 runs for his career.

            Jeter is a great player, and as you correctly note part of the reason he has been able to put up such horrible defensive totals is because his bat has kept him around for so long. But all evidence does suggest that he is truly awful on defense.

    • roadrider says:

      Well, if Montero is going to be predominately DH then why would a team who plays in a league where that “position” doesn’t exist trade a 5-tool player for him?

      • Dave203 says:

        Internally, they clearly view him as a catcher/DH with a heavy lean towards the DH. However, as a trade chip, the Yanks would be selling Montero as a catcher. Montero certainly projects to be a better hitter than McCutchen, but throwing in McCutchen’s defense, I would prefer him. I can see the Pirates asking for more, but overall, I think it could get get with Montero and a few others not named ManBam/Betances.

    • 28 this year says:

      Swisher+ doesn’t get you Garza. The main point for the Cubs trading Garza is that they aren’t ready to truly compete in the time that Garza is with them. How would acquiring an outfielder for a year bring them any closer to that?

      • Dave203 says:

        Clearly it wouldn’t be a straight up trade, but it could be centered around Swisher and prospects. Garza is only under team control for 1 more year, so trading him now for a legit RF (since they don’t have one) and a few mid-level prospects would still be a net positive for 2012 and later. I’m sure they would prefer Gardner, but I’d rather keep the defense/speed as long as we picked up an OF with some power in the other corner (McCutchen was the initial option via Montero).

        • Need Pitching says:

          Swisher makes no sense for a rebuilding team, any trade for Garza will be for players that can still help after the rebuilding, not a one year rental

          • Dave203 says:

            You can’t rebuild with all rookies — that’s the Astros way and they will be rebuilding for eternity now. You need a mix of moderately priced veterans with quality prospects. Theo did not go there to rebuild them for the next 5 years. He will work both the prospect and quality starter route to put together a decent team in the next couple of years.

  6. pat says:

    Henson might have been mega hyped but his hype was never substantiated with actual production in the minors. He was just a big name with a big story. His best “full season” ops (.825) was only a few points better than Jesus’ worst (.814). I’m not as well versed in other team’s farm systems, but I don’t really know the last time a guy who hit the ball as authoritatively to the opposite field at such a young age as Jesus does ended up being a bust.

  7. William says:

    Exactly…..although Ruben Rivera could hit opposite field bombs. Tools aren’t everything.

  8. pat says:

    3rd and long? Time for Fewell to rush 3 with JPP at DT.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      I fucking hate Fewell. Our defense is built upon the pass rush but we’ll send in three instead and use our best rusher at a brand new position to him.

  9. pat says:

    Jacquian Williams is faaaaast.

  10. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Bring back Spags. Fuck the Tampa 2.

    • pat says:

      Yup. I honestly f*cking hate him. Da’Rel you can’t be brought down in the open field by a single player like that. COME ON MAN.

  11. Pat D says:

    Man, just fuck this team. I can’t blame Coughlin too much, he was set up for failure again with the personnel moves and lack of moves. I blame most of this shit on Reese. Got all the credit for 2007, but hasn’t been taking any heat for a ton of shitty roster moves since then.

    Might as well lose out to get a decent pick.

    • Rich in NJ says:

      The team has given an inconsistent effort for three seasons. That’s on Coughlin as much as anyone other than the players themselves.

  12. pat says:

    And Nicks just got blown up. Awesome.

  13. pat says:

    Jacobs you are such a piece of sh*t. I will do a Victor Cruz style dance when you are cut.

  14. Leo says:

    This game has turned out to be so bad that you can’t help but laugh at their general awfulness. This defense, the dropped passes, the fumbles. What else CAN go wrong?

  15. Leo says:

    Cruz is one of the few bright spots on this team.

  16. emac2 says:

    Keep Montero, sign Albert and trade Tex to the cubs for Garza.

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