Posted on: August 2, 2009 6:36 pm

Montero out for the year

Or 4-6 weeks-which takes us to the end of the AA seaon.

Broke a bone in his finger catching a pitch last night. Frustrating for him, I imagine, as he was finding AA pitching to his liking. .909 OPS and 9 HR in only 167 AB's at that level.

He's still only 19.

Category: MLB
Tags: Montero
Posted on: June 3, 2009 10:49 am

Jesus is Risen

Couldn't resist. LOL

Promoted this morning to the Trenton Thunder of the AA Eastern League, only a season removed from Low A. Many saw this coming before season's end due to his .989 OPS in the pitcher friendly Florida State League, but this is faster than anyone expected for the 19 year old catcher.

The move is made in large part to allow both Austin Romine (another top 10 prospect) to catch everyday in hi A, while Montero does the same at the AA level.

Can't wait to see how he hits in his new league, which also has a pitcher friendly reputation.

Category: MLB
Tags: Montero
Posted on: May 29, 2009 8:07 am

Jesus Saves?

The Yankees sure hope so. Uber catching prospect Jesus Montero continued his assault on Florida State League pitching yesterday, mashing 2 long home runs to post a 3/4 day with 4 RBI. He's averaging an extra-hit roughly every 7 ABs, which is a nice jump from what he did in the Sally league last year. Nice to see.

He sits at .338/.392/.569.

And he's the ripe old age of 19.

Category: MLB
Tags: Montero
Posted on: March 13, 2009 1:03 pm

Montero catching attention

Seems a lot of the doubts as to whether the 19 year old would be able to stick behind the plate are starting to go away:

"Without question, he is significantly improved this year as opposed to last year," Cashman said. "To the point that we don't really doubt he's going to be a catcher in the big leagues."

What I wasn't aware of was that it's in his blood-on his mother's side!

Good piece on Posada's hopeful heir apparent from Marc Carig at the Star-Ledger.



Category: MLB
Tags: Montero
Posted on: June 18, 2008 1:35 pm

Sickels on Montero

On his blog, www.minorleagueball.com, prospect evaluator John Sickels takes a look at Jesus Montero, the Yankees' up and coming catching prospect.

Jesus Montero was signed by the Yankees out of Venezuela in 2006, earning a robust $1.6 million bonus. There was some controversy about this: Montero's power was evident, but it quickly became clear he was extremely raw defensively. He had a strong arm, but doubts about all other aspects of his defense seemed to indicate he would face a move to first base or even DH, thus increasing the pressure to hit and justify the bonus.

He made his pro debut in 2007, hitting .280/.366/.421 in the Gulf Coast League, showing decent plate discipline and raw power potential. I gave him a Grade C+ in the book this year...remember that's a good grade for a rookie ball guy...and noting his power potential but pointing out the defensive issues and some concern about what his batting average and OBP might look like.

Batting average and power haven't been problems in 2008: he's hitting .309/.348/.453 for Charleston in the Sally League. Plate discipline is an issue: he's drawn just 14 walks against 44 strikeouts in 278 at-bats. The good news is that while the walk rate is low, the strikeout rate is also low for a young guy with power. Scouts like his swing, and even marginal improvements in his strike zone judgment will go a long way towards helping him maintain his hitting at higher levels. He is still just 18, and hitting like this in a full-season league is an excellent marker at that age.

Montero's defense is still a work in progress and he has spent a lot of time at DH this year. However, the numbers aren't bad: he's fielding .991 right now, has an average range factor, and has caught 26 percent of runners trying to steal on him, which isn't good but isn't as bad as what he did in the lower minors. He's made progress, but will it be enough? End-of-season scouting reports and stats will help us know.

In the meantime, I'm definitely impressed with the bat and will raise him to Grade B- with higher potential...he could go higher by the end of the year.

Category: MLB
Tags: Montero
Posted on: May 29, 2008 11:16 am

Montero and Romine

Yankees A ball catching duo Jesus Montero and Austin Romine were a subject of a feature this week in Baseball America. Some excerpts:

“Being my first year, I think [alternating days between catching and designated hitter is] a good thing,” said the 19-year-old Romine, who suffered a lower body injury in late April but was expected to return to the lineup in mid-May. “The Yankees didn’t want to overwork me because it is a lot of games to catch coming right out of high school. It’s a lot easier to give it your all when you do it every other day. I want to be an everyday catcher, but I realize I have to start somewhere.”

“The first thing that strikes me [about Austin] is his arm strength,” Tyson said. “Once he figures out he can be quicker with his feet and his overall body instead of trying to rely on throwing it 100 miles an hour, you’re going to see some impressive throws behind the plate.”

“I’m concentrating more on my catching than on my hitting and working hard with the coaches in order to become a better all-around catcher,” Montero said through an interpreter, coach Henry Mercedes. “I’m working on everything because you can never be too good back there.”

“When I saw [Jesus] a year ago, I thought there was no hope of him even catching A ball,” Tyson said. “To see how far he’s come from then to now with the instruction he’s received makes me think he can catch in the big leagues.”

“Hopefully [Jesus] will stick with the regimen they’ve set up,” Tyson said. “If so, he’ll develop into a beast. He doesn’t have to hit a ball good to hit it out of the park. That’s something I haven’t seen at this level in a long time.”

B.A. goes onto project Montero's ETA as 2011 best case scenario-more likely 2012. They estimate Romine's as 2013.  Jorge Posada's contract expires in 2011 (not that anyone really expects him to still be catching at that point). Yankees have some talent in the system to be sure, but it does appear a bridge is going to be necessary after Posada's done.




Category: MLB
Tags: Montero, Romine
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com