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.