How Acquired: International Free Agent signed out of Venezuela in 2007.
2008 – Charleston (Sally League – Yankees A) – 132 games
- 17 homeruns, 87 rbi
- 37 bb/83 strikeouts
- Baserunners: 26 CS out of 105 (25%)
2009 – Tampa (Florida State League – Yankees High A) – 48 games
- 8 homeruns, 37 rbi
- 14 bb/26 strikeouts
- Baserunners: 8 CS out of 64 (13%)
2009 – Trenton (Eastern League – Yankees AA) – 44 games
- 9 homeruns, 33 rbi
- 14 bb/21 strikeouts
- Baserunners: 14 CS out of 44 (32%)
- 17 homeruns, 70 rbi
- 28 bb/47 strikeouts
- Baserunners: 22 CS out of 108 (20%)
Baseball America – #1 (NYY-2010)
Baseball Prospectus – #1 (NYY-2010)
Project Prospect – #1 (Catchers – 2009), #3 (Position Players – 9/2009)
John Sickels – #1 (NYY-2010) – A
Montero has really shown himself to be an elite hitting talent, spending a large portion of his age 19 season at AA and acquitting himself very well with the bat there. He posted a staggering .337/.389/.562 line between High-A and AA last season, including 17 homers and 25 doubles. He also draws a fair share of walks, as he had a 28 walk/47 strikeout campaign in 2009. His bat is probably no more than another season from being ready to start everyday in the major leagues.
The biggest concern involving Montero is probably his fielding skills, or lack there of. I am probably being extremely generous listing him as a catcher, but he is listed there online in multiple places, and did start a reasonable amount of games there last season. Out of the 92 games he started last season, 59 were at catcher, and the rest were as a DH. Even when he was behind the plate, he was not a particularly difficult guy to run on, allowing a staggering 86 stolen bases in only 59 games. If the Yankees are insistent on leaving him behind the plate, he will most likely need to not only repeat AA, but also spend a full year there, and then also spend a full year at AAA as well. I have a feeling though that the Yankees will not be that patient. They will see the bat, and the amazing numbers being put up by the bat, and bury him as a designated hitter at the major league level, and occasionally have him catch as needed.
Montero really appears to be an elite hitter. He has posted excellent numbers at levels of competition which are definitely at a higher age level than he is. My (and a lot of other people’s) only question remains his position long term. They can realistically only hide him as the designated hitter, and barring quite a bit of improvement at his catching, this will be what he does in the Majors. That said, he should definitely hit enough to be just a designated hitter, occasionally resting the catcher behind the plate. I think the Yankees don’t worry about this, and just let him hit and hit and hit.
Prediction for 2010
.330/.385/.530, 25 homers, 90 rbi (AA/AAA)
Monday’s Prospect for Review: Derek Norris (C) of the Washington Nationals