Did Montero Lose His Elite Prospect Status This Spring?

  • Matthews may have some actual information on this that I don’t, but prior to Francisco Cervelli‘s injury, I don’t think the Yankees had any intention of Montero breaking camp with the team. That injury changed things, of course, but I don’t think Montero-as-backup was ever really in the works, other than for maybe a week or two there. Remember, Montero struggled early last year as well, so my thought all along was that the most likely scenario was to have Montero go to Scranton, get his feet under him, and then allow him to play his way into the majors after the Super 2 cutoff date.
  • I’ve said it before but might as well say it again; there’s no reason to worry about Montero’s bat. Yes he had a bad spring even at the plate, but a handful of spring training at bats are nothing compared to a career of mashing in the minor leagues, especially given Montero’s age.
  • Speaking of his age, remember, the kid is only 21 years old. He’s a long way off from even being able to call  bust based on that alone, and he’s got plenty of time to grow as a player. Not that he necessarily needs it, but if he does, it’s not like the clock is ticking yet.
  • As for his prospect status? Mostly unchanged. Remember, most of the rest of baseball has been skeptical of Montero’s defense behind the plate all along, as have most prospect evaluators. Even then, just about everyone considers him a top 5 prospect, and defense has nothing to do with that. As they say, if you can hit, someone will find a place for you to play.
  • Matthews also writes that Montero has been passed by Gary Sanchez in terms of Yankees’ catching prospects. Sorry, not so much. This is what I mean when I talk about a general lack of understanding prospects. Yes, Sanchez is a very good prospect based on ceiling, but he’s only 18 years old and he has yet to even play low-A ball. Catcher or not, Montero is an elite hitting prospect who has already succeeded at the AAA level and is beating on the big league doorstep. The latter is still head and shoulders above the former, even if you assume he’s ultimately nothing but a full-time DH in the majors.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

14 thoughts on “Did Montero Lose His Elite Prospect Status This Spring?

  1. Wallace Matthews is a dope, plan and simple.

    I know it's his job to focus on the Major League team, and I guess I can excuse his lack of prospect knowledge a bit for that reason, but he doesn't even do a good job at that. He's always writing stuff that's over the top, unwarranted, and based on nothing.

    Stuff like this would be a better fit for the Post or the Daily News, where things are written for the sole reason of selling papers and creating discussion.

  2. "Stuff like this would be a better fit for the Post or the Daily News, where things are written for the sole reason of selling papers and creating controversy. "

    Fixed that for you.

    • Good call. That's actually what I meant to write. Somehow managed to get it screwed up in my head.

  3. Tyler

    Ugh (From a Sox fan here) Thats plain stupid. Its always been said he has a poor defense, and according to spring Jake Fox is Babe freakin' Ruth. Montero is a great bat, poor defensively at catcher, which is so noticeable because its THE prime defensive position. Odds are he'll be a DH or something, but no matter what hes going to MASH the ball.

  4. Yanks fan 81

    He's 21 and was pressing so hard because he was trying to make the team, we all acknowledge that ST number mean very little for veterens it should mean much more for a prospect. He's going to be a very good hitter, and hopefully passable defensively, this article is a joke. Especially saying a 18 yr old kid in his first season in a ball has passed an established prospect. Sanchez isn't exactly having a great spring either yet he passes Montero as our best catching prospect, to me i find that as a little odd logically

  5. Kevin G.

    Wally Matthews is a sensationalist dope, nothing more. He has apparently decided that Montero is garbage based on 40 Spring Training at bats. Seems logical.

  6. CS Yankee

    Montero still ended up with a .250 ST BA…for a 21 year old playing around studs everywhere and focusing on catching duties, this is totally uncalled for.

    Montero, at 20 years old did decent-great in AAA. Sanchez has to climb four levels in three years to be where Montero prooved himself. I bet he is called up around June 1st, catches 20-30 and DH/PH in another 20-30 and ends up with 250 PA in 2011. He should be the starting DH in 2012 with about 50 games behind the dish…hardly a bust.

  7. CS Yankee

    I don't like the DH by committee…if Montero's bat equates to MLB power and he is average or slightly below average behind the dish I would like to see 100 at DH and another 50 behind the dish.

    Have Arod, Teix or another vet bat the remaining 62 games at DH but don't change it every night…keep it to the power guys (sorry Jete', Grit, Damon, etc).

  8. ChipBuck

    Yeah, Montero sucks. The Yankees should just release him. I doubt anyone of the remaining 29 teams would be interested in a grade A hitting prospect…

  9. moooose

    He's also suffering from comparison to Buster Posey. It makes no sense at all to say that one prospect got worse because another one blew up, but there you are.

    • Sid

      Think about it. Posey at 22 did crap in the majors and hit like .118. I guess he was a bust too.

  10. roy

    I read the Wallace Matthews piece and it is perfectly spot on. Jesus Montero is not ready yet and did not show anything in spring training to convince anyone otherwise. I am not going to write a general diatribe about Wallace Mathews. Here, he is spot on. On March 29th, 2011, Montero is not ready yet and would get no closer to the place that he needs to advance to by sitting on the bench as a backup to Russell Martin.

  11. Bill

    I'd like to hear from the bleacher writer that ripped me a new one several times because I didn't think Montero was a lock to make the team and that his defense will keep him the major league club for a while. He doesn't seem to be writing to much lately!

  12. Ernie

    Come on! The kid is pressing and he still needs experience. He will do just fine, give or take a few years.

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