Before the end of Spring Training, it is worth checking out a Yankees game because you would hate to miss out.
In seeing a youngster described as the ‘next Joe Mauer‘ and ‘best hitting prospect since Derek Jeter‘ by various scouts. This kid could be the future of the Yankees, but the earliest he will come to the Bronx will be September 2010 when the roasters extend from 25 to 40 players.
His name is Jesus Montero.
Montero was the hottest prospect in 2006, hitting way beyond his time and his age of 16 years old. Scouting wars between the Red Sox, Mets, Indians ended when the Yankees signed Montero to $1.6 million.
Now at 20 years old and two years in the minors under his belt, Yankee fans have reason to get excited. Montero’s life in the minors has only made him better, named to the All-Star Futures Game for the second time. He is currently rated the #1 Yankee prospect and fourth overall (click on highlighted for sources) by Baseball America. Despite missing a sizeable portion of 2009 season because of breaking a finger while catching, he still made the Eastern League All-Star roster.
Montero’s batting average in the minors is .325, with a swing that is only going to get better with age; like a fine wine. He is aggressive with a bat, while displaying almost perfect plate patience and can see pitches like an old pro. Montero’s capacity to hit to the opposite field with consistency is rarified air at his age.
Behind the plate, Montero has not caught up to his giant bat yet. Standing at 6’4, weighing 225 pounds and still growing is not ideal for a catcher. Unless your MVP Joe Mauer who defies that standard being he is 6’5 tall and is so potent that whatever report says what works best can be thrown out the window now.
Montero and the Yankees both want him to come up as a catcher. Knowing that Jorge Posada is 39 years old replacing his brilliant and consistent offense would be ideal.
The procedure for Montero is for him to work on his defense and mechanics. The formal aspects are all there and he has one hell of a throwing arm, but as he gets older that will not be enough. Montero will focus on skill, improving on his catch and release of the ball.
Skipper Joe Girardi and bench coach Tony Pena, both being all-star catchers in their playing days, have taken Montero under their wings. Nothing but positives expressed about Montero’s future as a catcher from both after working with this Spring.
Could this Venezuelan citizen be the answer to the Yankees prayers?
Well, everything is in position for Jesus Montero to deploy on his way to becoming a super-star.
Now tt is up to Montero to work like crazy to get there. The Yankees deserve Montero’s best attempt, and will do whatever is needed to help him stay on track.
For now I can easily say……..So far, so good!!
- Jesus Montero: Does He Stay At Catcher? (minorleagueball.com)
- Keith Law’s Top 100 MLB Prospect List is Yankee-Heavy (thebiglead.com)
- New York Yankees: 3 Yankee Youths Make MLB Network’s ‘Top 50 Prospects’ (bleacherreport.com)
- Trio of Yankees among Top 50 prospects (mlb.mlb.com)
- Is This….The End? (slidingintohome.blogspot.com)
- MLB Trade Rumors: Jesus Montero The Key For a Big Splash For The Yankees? (bleacherreport.com)