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
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
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