Jesus Montero. Wow, where to begin.
You may want to begin where most people do when you talk about Jesus Montero, the most coveted New York Yankees prospect in recent memory. Quite possible almost as coveted as Derek Jeter was back over a decade ago.
There is so much hype on this guy and he’s barely allowed to drink legally in America. However, maybe the hype that everyone seems to have on Montero isn’t actually hype. Could it be the fact that Montero is really, really good.
Well, he’s played four games for the Bombers since being called up when the rosters expanded on Sept. 1. In those four games, Jesus Montero has gone 5-for-13. That’s a .385 batting average. Among those five hits are two home runs that he hit in one game Labor Day afternoon. He has also scored five runs, but stuck out three times.
Now, this hype has been bringing along comparisons of Montero with the amount of impact he has made already. A few comparisons I have seen are to Rays pitcher David Price when he was brought up in 2008 for their run in the final days of the regular season and into the postseason. Price was throwing heat and striking out virtually everyone.
Montero is even being compared to Matt Wieters, who became an all-star catcher in 2011.
Now for every Jesus Montero, scouts dream, there are people like Lastings Milledge.
In 2006, the cross-town rival New York Mets came across a dilemma—accept a trade of Milledge in a package deal for Oakland As stud pitcher Barry Zito. The Mets ended up not trading Milledge and due to character issues, Milledge was eventually dealt to the Washington Nationals in 2007.
Now, Montero was brought up in two different trades over the past two seasons. Montero was mentioned in a deal that would give the Yankees Cliff Lee—the Yankees did not pull the trigger. This year, Montero was talked about going to Colorado in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez. Again, Montero stayed put and it looks like the Yankees made the right move.
Or did they? Who knows what Lee or Jimenez would have brought to the Yankees pitching rotation, but the fact of the matter is that the Yankees system is overloaded with catching.
Right now, the Yankees have Russell Martin, Jorge Posada and Montero on the roster. Posada rarely plays catcher anymore as his days are numbered in the organization. Behind Montero, are two catching prospects that may either get traded or be called up as well within the next few years.
Austin Romine is a catcher playing currently for Scranton W/B, the Yanks Triple-A team in the International League. Romine has 39 homers and 239 RBI in his four-year career in the minors. He is the same age as Montero but very rarely gets mentioned.
The only problem with Romine that gives the edge to Montero is that he has problems with his back. He was already placed on the DL this season and who knows where he could go from here.
The other future prospect that could pass Montero is Gary Sanchez. Granted, Sanchez is still 18 years old, but his numbers don’t lie. 25 homers with 95 RBI in 129 minor league ball games.
If Montero is a failed prodigy, like he could be, Sanchez is next in line to inherit the throne of top Yankees potential.
The point I’m trying to make is that you should always be skeptical of these new prospects before they ever do anything. Montero’s name is already being tossed around to be on the postseason roster.
Will it happen? We’ll see. It’s only been four games into his career. Let’s give him time to adjust.
Besides, he only hit homers off of Jim Johnson.