Montero 5th on BA's Top Prospect List

From John Manuel:

Why he’s here: The minors’ best hitter, Montero gets compared to Mike Piazza as a catcher whose hitting tools far outstrip his defense. The Yankees don’t see him as Jorge Posada’s heir because his defense is on par with Piazza’s or worse.
What he’ll be: Because he’s likely to move out from behind the plate, Montero should be a first baseman or DH primarily. Other ex-catchers with premium bats such as Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado leap to mind.
When he arrives: New York’s offseason moves will dictate whether Montero spends all season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or moves up to the big leagues as a part-time catcher and DH.

For more on Jesus, here is BP’s Kevin Goldstein:

The Good: Simply put, Montero is one of the best offensive prospects in the game, and possibly the best. He’s a massive slugger with the contact skills of a batting champion, with one scout classifying his ability to put the middle of the barrel on the ball “almost supernatural.” His raw power is at or near the top of the charts—and he’s just starting to tap into it. He has the potential for 30-40 home runs annually. He’s a hard worker who puts as much work into his defense as his hitting, and he’s made great strides behind the plate.
The Bad: Montero remains a well below-average catcher, despite his improvements. His big, thick build doesn’t provide much agility defensively, and he’s only expected to get bigger, which will almost assuredly mean a move to first base. His approach is good for his age, but it could use some improvements, as he swings at a lot of bad pitches, making up for it by often crushing them.

BP seems a bit more sanguine about the possibility of Montero sticking at catcher than BA does, which makes the #5 ranking an even greater statement about the quality of his bat. He ranks ahead of Buster Posey and Carlos Santana, both catchers with all-around games, as well as Justin Smoak and Pedro Alvarez, sluggers with greater certainty about their defensive future. Quite simply, Montero is probably the best hitter currently in the minor leagues, a pure hitter with strong power, good plate discipline, and a tireless work ethic. All of this adds up to the kind of big bat that the Yankees have not developed since….well….I really cannot think of anyone. Does Bernie Williams qualify? Regardless, I hope the Yankees hold onto him. With the offensive core of the club aging, Montero would be a perfect fit for the Yankees no matter where he ends up defensively.

0 thoughts on “Montero 5th on BA's Top Prospect List

  1. Reading this post and several other articles all over the internet just raises a number of questions in my mind, about this guys future. Everybody seems to agree that he is just a (at best) average catcher, and that his future seems to be at 1st Base.
    It’s also sayed that Montero is already good enough to be the backup catcher, at least in the end of the season, making the 40 man Roster.
    The thing is, that IF (and that is a big if) he’s already good for the big leagues, or if he’s going to be good enough next year, I just don’t know where he’s gonna play!
    I must be honest: I’ve never seen the guy play. What I know about him, I have either read or seen in the internet or through videos. So maybe you guys could answer some of my questions.
    -Catcher: Montero’s not good enough to be an everyday catcher, so even with Posada turning in to a DH and, in the near future, retiering, we could be almost 100% sure that Montero is not gonna be the franchise catcher for the ’11 and ’12 seasons. Right?
    -1st Base: I don’t see him playing here either. With Teixeira going in to only the 2nd year of his long and rich contract, we shouldn’t expect Montero to bench him, and become the starter at 1st. Plus Tex’s fielding is great. Is Montero better than him fielding 1st? I doubt it.
    -Whats left for a 6’4 big Catcher besides C and 1st? LF?
    Does Montero have the speed and arm to play an OF position? Like I sayed… I’ve never seen him play. Could anyone answer this question?
    -IF: Does Montero have the ability to play an IF position, like 3B? That is: if A-Rod becomes a “DH-only” type?
    -DH: Like I sayed. A-Rod, Posada, even Granderson could be guys who are becoming our DH in the future. Are we going to let theese guys walk, or trade them, to make space at DH for a kid, just coming up from Scranton? I don’t see that happening.
    I hope you guy could answer some of the questions. Thanks in advance! Oh… and sorry if my comment is too long… =/

  2. And sorry for the spelling mistakes too! I’m posting this via my cellphone, with a extremely small keyboard, like only the guys at Motorola think us humans are able to use, so…

    But I hope I made myself understandable!

  3. Mo, the inconvenient truth about Jesus Montero is that unless he can stick at Catcher for at least a few years or do a decent job in LF, we’ll be better off dealing him for a big piece. His natural landing spot is 1B, and that aint happening.

    I’ll hold out hope that he can be stay at Catcher while he’s young (until his mid 20s) and then move to 1B when Tex’s contract expires. But there are all sorts of issues surrounding Catchers with his size and lack of flexibility.

  4. Steve S. (kinda…) sayed what I was trying not to:
    Maybe the Yankees should look into all the obstacles between Montero today and Montero as a big-leaguer and decide if it makes sense to hold on to him, or if we could involve him in a big trade.
    Imagine if he had been part of the deal for Halladay. Or for Cliff Lee. We could be looking into the best rotation for a Ballclub in, I don’t know, 10, 20, 30 years?! CC, AJ, Andy, Cliff Lee or Halladay and Joba/Hughes/Vazquez/whoever….

    Anyway… Now it’s too late.

  5. Just because he doesn’t fit into a specific Defensive position right now, doesn’t mean he should be traded!

    Who knows what can happen in a couple years time but he will, as Moshe said, have to learn how to play LF and 1B to transition his way into the majors. Give him another full year in AAA, then bring him up next year as DH and platoon player. A player like this will receive plenty of attention from Yankee coaching staff to help him become future 1B or LFielder. I can’t wait to watch him crush baseballs over monument park and the green monster.

    Trading Montero for a 33 year old Halladay or 32 year old Lee is utter nonsense.

  6. Replying “The Other Chris H.”
    (Sorry… For some reason I can’t use the link to reply, on this cellphone)

    Im not saying that if we got a 30-31 year old, we would have the best rotation for 30 years. What I sayied is: If we were able to land either Cliff Lee OR Roy Halladay, the Yankees would have the best rotation, not only in todays league, but in the last 10-30 years.

    About the idea of making him a DH:
    I sort of ruled that out because I can’t see the Yankees trading Jeter, A-Rod or Posada in the near future, HOWEVER they are all very close of becoming “DH-only” players, (age, injury, surgery, etc…) just like that big fella some like to call ‘Big Papi’ up in Boston. Or players that will have to spend more and more time starting as DH and not on the field. So saving the DH spot for a 28 year old sound like waste to me.
    But that’s just my oppinion.

  7. why would you want him, if needed, to play left field??? way too big of an outfield for a guy that isnt all that speedy. right field seems to make more sense to me, again, if needed though. he’s a catcher now, so wouldnt his arm be better suited for right AND right field at yankee stadium is obviously significantly smaller than left field so he wouldnt have so much ground to cover. i still am optimistic he can find a way to be a decent enough defender behind the plate though. comments?

  8. I do hope he becomes a great fielding catcher. Let’s remember that when Posada first came along he was known much more for his bat than for his glove, and even playing in the big leagues, he developed every year, to be the good catche he is today.
    However one has to hope for the best and plan for the worst, and it would make sense to me if he got some starts in the OF corners. ‘Jeremys’ point makes sense: RF at Yankee Stadium is much less ground that he would have to cover, if he did got moved to the OF.
    About trading him for Lee or Halladay… this ship has sailed. I was just speculating and making projections. This obiuosly no longer a possibility.

    One other thing bothers me with Montero at Catcher:
    We all know that Cash is saving… cash (sorry for that joke) to try and land Joe Mauer if he reaches the FA Market. Thi is why he’s not going after Bay, Holliday, etc… and not even considering paying Damon more than $5 Million. And he’s right. If there is a chance to aquire Mauer (I don’t really think there is, but some do…) Cash should do everything in his power to catch him. And if Mauer is wearing pinstripes this time next year, Montero can kiss catching for the Yankees goodbye.

  9. Moshe Mandel: I think they try him at LF. If that doesn’t work, he can split time at DH, C, and 1B as Teixeira ages. He’s so young that he will still be just entering his prime when Teixeira’s contract finishes. If C and LF do not work out, he could be the backup catcher, backup 1Bman, and regular DH until Tex vacates first base.  

    O.K let’s be crazy creative here.
    Montero 1st base.
    AROD ss
    Teixiera 3b
    Jeter cf/lf/rf

    no good?

    How about:
    Montero 1b
    Jeter SS
    Tex 3b
    Arod lf/rf.
    Ain’t happening but fun anyway.

  10. i say tell montero don;t bring a glove, just bats..edgar martinez with much more power. just let him hit so what he is young for dh.. what is it reserved for 35 and up?? so we have a 21 year old hitting as the dh . next year behind arod .. hold on to your hats american league pitchers..

  11. i’m a little puzzled as to how people are saying “when tex’s contact is done montero can play first” HUH??? is tex not good enough!!! we have him for the next 7 years people, dont start thinking 7 years in advance like royals/pirates fans would! i agree with a post earlier that i hadnt even thought of “We all know that Cash is saving… cash (sorry for that joke) to try and land Joe Mauer if he reaches the FA Market” now, personally, i feel mauer is 99% likely to stay in minnesota BUT if that 1% turns out to be that he DOES hit the FA market, NYY will have a lot of payroll flexibility by not spending so much this offseason. what a lineup that would be huh? i can just picture it now:
    SS jeter
    C mauer
    1B tex
    3B a-rod
    DH posada
    RF montero
    2B cano
    CF granderson
    LF swish
    that would be the scariest offense a pitcher would ever face lol and of coarse the rotation would have cc aj and others heck! even igawa MIGHT be able to win a game with that offense behind him! its a stetch i know but he could. point is, any pitcher with that type of offense could legitamately win a LOT of games. i’ll keep dreaming though lol