Top 30 In 30: #2 Jesus Montero

There’s just one more player left in Thunder Thoughts month long look at the Yankees 30 best prospects as rated by Baseball America…

#2 Jesus Montero
Position: C
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 225 lbs.
Age At Start of 2009 Season: 19

Career statistics: 165 GP, .318 avg., 20 HR, 106 RBI, 49 BB, 101 K
Seasons: 2
Highest Level Reached: Low A

Montero has had Yankees fans excited over the past two seasons, and for good reason.  He’s established himself as the best catching prospect in the organization, and perhaps has the best power of anyone in the system.  He put up ridiculous numbers last season in Charleston, hitting .326 with 17 home runs and 87 RBI, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to match or exceed those numbers as he progresses through the system.  One observer of a recent Montero BP session was raving about what he saw, and after seeing him with my own eyes at the Futures Game, it clear to see that he’s more than just hype.  The 19-year-old is likely to start the season in Tampa, and some experimentation may begin with trying to find him a long-term position other than catcher, as he’s just too big to succeed back there.

Thunder ETA: 2010

The Yankees future is so bright, Brian Cashman’s got to wear shades.  Specifically, it seems there’s going to be a pretty constant flow of blue chippers into Waterfront Park over the next few seasons.  People were asking if Montero was going to play in Trenton last year, so those questions will likely continue into this season as well.  And this year, it’s actually possible.  Very unlikely, but possible.  People forget that with all the talk about him, Montero is just 19 years old and would likely be the youngest player in the Eastern League if sent there.  Maybe they challenge him with a late season call-up if he continues to put up video game numbers in Tampa…but the more likely option is to see him start the year in Mercer County in 2010.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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4 Responses to “Top 30 In 30: #2 Jesus Montero”

  1. mlb1996 Says:

    By and large, Yanks are conservative nowadays when it comes to promoting prospects. However, they do make exceptions once in a while. Montero seems to fit the category of once in a while.

    Barring injuries or any unforeseen circumstances, he has a chance to play at Trenton sometime this year ’cause his bat is pretty special.

  2. YankFanDave Says:

    “…some experimentation may begin with trying to find him a long-term position other than catcher, as he’s just too big to succeed back there.”

    Here is a list of some big boys that were/are able to catch on the big league level:
    Joe Mauer 6 5 220
    Sandy Alomar Jr 6 5 220
    Ernie Lombardi 6 3 230
    Javy Lopez 6 3 230
    Lance Parrish, 6 3, 220
    Terry Kennedy 6 3 220
    Toby Hall 6 3 210
    Damian Miller 6 3 210
    Mike Piazza 6 3 200
    Dan Wilson 6 3 200
    Carlton Fisk 6 2 220
    Mike Scioscia 6 2 220
    Gary Carter 6 2 200
    Bill Dickey 6 2 200
    Johnny Bench 6 1 210

    Jesus Montero, 6 4 225, is big and it will be a challenge for him to stay behind the plate but the constant pronouncement that he absolutely cannot succeed as a catcher is premature and not in line with history. Let’s remember that Cal Ripkin and ARod were just too big to play short stop at one time too.

  3. RIKERS Says:

    PinstripePlus has Montero as the #1 Prospect

  4. Bronx Baseball Daily Says:

    I think it would be better for the Yankees to go level a year with this kid. He’s very young and there is no reason to rush. If he goes up too soon and he struggles you are pretty much just needlessly starting his arbitration clock. If they go year by year he’ll be in the majors by the age of 22, still very young, and he’ll be under the Yankees control until he is 28. Pretty good combination.

    Posada would also be going into retirement the year he would be coming up.

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