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.
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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.
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