I’ll give you a hint: very good. EJ Fagan at TYU took a look at the Yanks’ best prospect, particularly how his defense has progressed and how his 2009 offensive season shook out, determining that yeah, Mr. Montero is pretty freakin’ special. I’ll say this, the kid is legimately the best position player prospect the Yanks have had since Derek Jeter in the early-to-mid 1990’s. Get excited, people.
PeteAbe has the news. Montero broke the middle finger on his right (throwing) hand after catching a pitch in last night’s game. He’ll be out 4-6 weeks according to the team, meaning he’s out for the rest of the minor league but could return in time for a stint in winter ball. Montero finished the season at .337-.389-.562 with 17 homers.
Jesus Montero has become a household name among Yankee fans who follow the minors. He’s 19 and utterly mashing at AA. On Sunday, he hit his fourth home run in his last nine games, and on the AA year, he is hitting .306/.363/.529.
The Trenton numbers, though, represent just half of Montero’s season. Looking at both his Tampa and Trenton numbers, the kid is an utter beast. He is hitting .332/.386/.558 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs. He is now one of the game’s best prospects — number three overall, according to a recent Baseball America update — and the Yanks’ clear number one prospect. He could be up in the Bronx by mid-2010 but will probably not arrive until 2011.
He wasn’t always this well-respected. A 2006 Baseball America column by John Manuel cast some doubt on Montero’s future. Wrote the prospect expert:
The Yankees reportedly gave another international player $2 million this year, but reports on Jesus Montero have not been good ever since the Yankees signed him for that amount in July. Montero has been dogged by rumors that he fudged his age or worse, and sources had indicated for weeks that his contract was under review by the commissioner’s office at the Yankees’ request.
Newman confirmed that the Yankees and Montero, a Venezuelan catcher with prodigious power potential, had “long, involved” negotiations. He would not comment on the value of Montero’s signing bonus, but said one source’s information–that Montero’s bonus had been restructured to $1.3 million–was not correct. His only on the record comment was that “there is no age issue” with Montero, who struggled in the Yankees’ fall mini-camp.
Those “not good” reports have since vanished into thin air. Everyone loves Jesus Montero, and he has emerged as one of the Yankees’ “untouchable” prospects. What the future holds for Montero no one really knows. It’s always amusing though to relive the past. Once upon a time, BA wasn’t sure about Jesus. Now, he’s one of the game’s most heralded young hitters. Funny how that works.
Despite playing in just 26 of Double-A Trenton’s 83 games this year, catcher Jesus Montero has been added to the Eastern League’s Northern Division All-Star Team as a replacement for the injured Josh Thole. He’ll be the sixth … uh … Thunderer to make the team, joining Zach McAllister, Josh Schmidt, Jorge Vazquez, Reegie Corona, and Eduardo Nunez, not to mention Trenton’s coaching staff. Montero is hitting .299-.364-.505 as a 19-yr old in a traditionally pitcher-friendly league and a very pitcher-friendly park.
This year’s Eastern League All-Star Game is being played in Trenton’s Waterfront Park, so here’s your chance to catch some of the very best prospects in the game all in one place without too much hassle. I’ll have a preview of the game up in the coming days.
Some quick links for you to read as you get ready to fire up the grill, if you haven’t already.
- Longtime reader Cameron emailed along this cool little nugget about Hideki Matsui from the Yomiuri Giants 1998 Season Preview: “It’s rumored that the clumsy center fielder will move to third base in 1998.” Hideki Matsui at third base? I can’t imagine …
- Erik Manning at FanGraphs wrote about the almighty Jesus Montero. In short, the kid’s good. Real good.
- Baseball America released their midseason minor league All-Star team, and the only Yankee farmhand to make the cut is switch pitcher Pat Venditte. You can certainly make a case for Montero over Carlos Santana, but Santana’s absolutely worthy.
- Another Latin American catcher, the recently signed Gary Sanchez, will report to the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Yankees within two weeks according to BP’s Kiley McDaniel. This is unheard, international signees typically sign contracts which begin the follow the season, and at best start their first professional season in Extended Spring Training. The Yanks must think this kid is really advanced.
- Beyond the Box Score took a quick look at the fastball of the recently defected Aroldis Chapman. Shockingly, the Yanks are interested in Chapmn’s services.
In The Journal-News today, Peter Abraham profiles Jesus Montero, the Yanks’ 19-year-old catching prospect. Montero, 19, is six-foot-four and weighs 225 pounds. Most baseball analysts see his big league position as first base, but Tony Peña and Montero believe Jesus’ future lies behind the dish. No matter the role, Montero could mature into a top offensive threat.
PeteAbe has a couple of small injury notes:
· Jesus Montero (strained right groin) was injured sliding to track down a passed ball. Joe Girardi said it seemed like a “moderate” strain. Given his status and youth, they’ll be cautious bringing him back.
· Jon Albaladejo caught a ball off the back of his left leg near the ankle and has a bruise. He’s day-to-day.
A pair of small nothings, if you ask me. Both guys have plenty of time to get healthy before the season starts. The more important injury news, that you might have missed earlier, is that Jorge Posada’s shoulder is okay, and he could DH as soon as tomorrow. My educated guess it that the team will hold him back until Tuesday.
Former Yankee Updates: Chad Jennings checks in on some former Yankees and how they’re faring during Spring Training. Of note is the news that Carl Pavano managed to throw two scoreless innings without chipping a nail, stubbing his toe or bursting his appendix.
Here’s your open thread for the night. The Nets are the only local team in action because the Devils won this afternoon. Anything goes, just be nice.