Montero Determined to Catch at Major League Level

While this headline is rather obvious, the young Venezuelan made it very clear in an interview with NJ.com’s Marc Craig (h/t to River Ave. Blues) that he wants to be a catcher going forward.

When asked about possibly playing another position in the future, Montero was vague: “I don’t know. Maybe in the future, two, three, five years more, maybe they’re going to put me in another position. But I’m working to be a catcher. I want to be in the big leagues as a catcher.” Any player would likely say the same thing about staying at his natural position, but it’s great to see Jesus showing great desire for wanting to stick to catching. Craig asked a follow up and Montero said he wants “to be a catcher with the Yankees.” Of course, when a player is as big as Montero is behind the plate, it’s hard for him to master that position. Montero, though, is working. On changing his throwing mechanics: “Last year, I got a lot of outs when they told me that, more than before. I’ve been working really good with that. Now, let’s wait for the game, see what we can do.” These quotes show us that Montero is ready, willing, able, and most importantly, eager to improve his skills at catcher to make sure he sticks behind the plate.

The other thing that I absolutely loved about this interview is the feeling of happiness Montero gave off. This is a young man who just enjoys the game of baseball. He said catching was fun because by doing so, he gets to “control the game” and be “the third manager.” His true joy, though, seems to be hitting the baseball:

I like to have fun when I’m hitting. I love to hit. If we don’t hit in baseball, it’s not baseball. This is the best thing in my life: hit home runs, have fun, hit batting practice. Hitting for me is the best thing in my life.

This quote is just so full of awesome. What does El Carpentiero feel when he really gets a hold of one? “Happiness, pride, I don’t know, a lot of good things.”

I have a great feeling that Jesus is going to be feeling lots of happiness, pride, and good things in the years to come.

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

16 thoughts on “Montero Determined to Catch at Major League Level

  1. Geek

    If his AAA numbers are outstanding the Yankees will elevate him sooner rather than latter.

  2. leftylarry

    He’s going to be a DH sooner than later.

  3. EJ Fagan

    I’m amazed at how remarkably honest everyone in the Yankee organization has been about Montero. They’re basically saying what we’ve all been observing – if Montero breaks in to the majors as a catcher, it will be a temporary state, and the Yankees don’t really have an opening for him at other positions right now regardless.

    For what its worth, when you track non-catcher defensive positions, players tend to peak in defensive skills around 25 years old, and slowly decline until a sharp drop off in their early 30s. This also tracks well for base running, and makes sense. Athleticism peaks around that time. I suspect that it is different for catchers, but for now Montero is about to enter his “athletic peak” (“baseball peak” probably comes later, as there are non-athletic factors) to last for a few years. If there is any point in his life that Montero can handle catcher, it is right now, but if he’s borderline, it won’t be for long.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      If he can be a catcher for that long, just the next 2-3 seasons, I’m fine with that. He’ll still (likely) be cheap and his bat will (again, likely) play anywhere. He can DH at that point (could Romine be behind the plate?) and then move to 1B when Tex’s contract is up which will up his value.

      • EJ Fagan

        Wouldn’t it be great if Montero could play a little bit all over the diamond? It doesn’t happen much with star players, but a fair share of sluggers have split time between C/1b or LF/1b. Montero would actually be a really big asset on a roster as a backup catcher.

        Wouldn’t you love to see Romine and Montero split time?

        • Matt Imbrogno

          That’d be pretty cool, especially because it could help both players elongate their careers. But, if Romine turns out to be a good hitter, too, I’d be fine with him getting the lion’s share of games behind the plate and Montero DHing/1Bing.

  4. DaveinMD

    I have a feeling we are going to see Montero play a little right field as well. Cashman brought it up himself in that nomaas interview.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      From everything I’ve heard, Montero in the OF would be Dunn-like.

      • DaveinMD

        He’s never played, so we don’t know that. Yogi played left at the end of his career. There is no reason Montero can’t play right.

  5. -Leftylarry

    He’s supposedly remarkably slow.

    It would be great for him to play catcher but if Romine is ready and is a defensive catcher who can hit, why would we want Montero catching?
    Think how valuable Matsui was last year and then imagine this kid hitting 20 points higher with as many if not more HR’s.
    Frankly, I’d love him as DH and eventually 3rd catcher so there’s more flexibility with the top 2 catchers.
    Of course if he stays at catcher and you can trade him off a huge future HOF’er like first season or two and get a future #1 or #2 LEFT HANDED starting pitcher, that’s fine too.

    • DaveinMD

      Great hitting catchers are more valuable even if they play passable defense. Imagine having another Mike Piazza playing for us and then having another DH type.

      Also, remember that A-Rod will need to transition to DH at some point in the future.

  6. Geek

    Apparently Cavelli is not the heir apparent at catcher, the Yankees have 2 other great prospects that can also play first or LF/RF. If the kids mature as expected the Yankees have great options especially when the huge contracts for the other stars mature. We know Jeter and A-Rod are keepers but everyone else should be considered as options. Cash has become astute in dealing and others at evaluating talent. I also look forward to seeing how Hoffman matures.

  7. -Leftylarry

    How often did Mike Piazza teams win anything?

    • EJ Fagan

      How often did Cal Ripken teams win anything?

    • DaveinMD

      Don Mattingly really sucked. His teams never won.

  8. I admire the kids determination. I hope it works out and he becomes a Major League Catcher with the Yankees. I can’t wait for the Montero/ Romine tandem! It will be like the old days od Berra and Howard. Even better!

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