When it comes to the New York Yankees, everybody and everything is hype. Everything that happens in or around the Yankees is leading story type news so when you are the top prospect for this organization you can bet on receiving plenty of attention. It seems as though we've been hearing about Montero for a decade but in truth he has only been slugging it out in the Yankees farm system for four seasons. But after tearing up AAA in 2010 and avoiding being traded to Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal last summer, Montero is set to take on the big apple in 2011. Here is what you need to know about the most talked about prospect in all of baseball.
Jesus Montero -- Catcher -- New York Yankees
Height: 6'4" Weight: 230 lbs -- Hits: Right Throws: Right
2010 Stats (AAA) -- .289/.353/.517, 21 HR, 75 RBI, 66 runs, zero steals
Montero's hitting style and more specifically his swing will never be referred to as "pretty" or "natural" but it has proven to work for him throughout his minor league career. He has a real good inside-out swing that generates significant power to all fields. Montero has a natural way of working pitchers until they give him a pitch that he can hit and usually does so very hard. He doesn't strikeout much either, a rarity for young power hitters. His size and strength suggest he will be a legitimate major league power hitter capable of hitting 25+ HR's a year.
While he has made strides in becoming a well rounded hitter, Montero still has a ways to go behind the plate. He has a strong arm but is fundamentally deliberate in his mechanics and thus has a real problem in throwing out basestealers. He has below average speed and seems perpetually out of shape. The Yankees would love Montero to become good enough defensively to remain at catcher but with other prospects in the organization at the position that seems to be a long shot. Montero will likely be switched to 1B, a corner OF spot or be a very young DH and utility player.
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There is no reason for Montero to continue toiling around in the minor leagues as his bat is major league ready at this point in time. His struggles at the beginning of last season were followed by a second half surge that proves he is capable of working through slumps and making adjustments, something he hadn't needed to do earlier on in his career. The Yankees will likely use Montero as trade bait at some point in time this season because he doesn't profile as a catcher and they do not have openings at 1B or DH currently.
A decision will have to be made this spring if it would be better to carry Montero on the big league club or to have him play full time once again at AAA Scranton. His power bat and overall potential within the Yankees lineup make him a very intriguing fantasy prospect and one to keep a close eye on this spring. He is worth taking a draft day chance on in real deep mixed leagues or AL only leagues and becomes even more valuable in leagues where two catchers are required.
Compare To: Ryan Doumit, Ramon Castro, Mike Napoli
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