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.