Originally posted on The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog  |  Last updated 1/17/12

#10 Jesus Montero

Seattle Mariners

DOB: 11/28/1989

Previous Rank: 7

ETA: 2011

As the centerpiece of the deal that sent Michael Pineda, a power arm in his early 20s that has already been named to an All-Star team, Montero obviously has earned himself quite a reputation already.  This trade is further evidence of the reevaluation that is taking place with regards to the relative worth of premier bats and premier arms.  Additionally this represents the second consecutive season in which the Mariners have managed to land a hitter in our top 10.

Montero blew up at Yankee Stadium, slashing .328/.406/.590 in 61 at-bats during the Yanks’ playoff push.  While no one expects him to immediately hit that way to open 2012, and he notoriously starts slow regardless, that slash line is not impossible or even unlikely for the 22-year-old catcher/1B/DH/?.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev G PA AB R 2B 3B HR RBI BA 2007 17 Yankees GULF Rk 33 123 107 13 6 0 3 19 .280 2008 18 Charleston SALL A 132 569 525 86 34 1 17 87 .326 2009 19 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA 92 379 347 45 25 1 17 70 .337 2009 19 Tampa FLOR A+ 48 198 180 26 15 1 8 37 .356 2009 19 Trenton EL AA 44 181 167 19 10 0 9 33 .317 2010 20 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA 123 504 453 66 34 3 21 75 .289 2011 21 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA 109 463 420 52 19 1 18 67 .288 5 Seasons 489 2038 1852 262 118 6 76 318 .308 AAA (2 seasons) AAA 232 967 873 118 53 4 39 142 .289 A (1 season) A 132 569 525 86 34 1 17 87 .326 AA (1 season) AA 44 181 167 19 10 0 9 33 .317 Rk (1 season) Rk 33 123 107 13 6 0 3 19 .280 A+ (1 season) A+ 48 198 180 26 15 1 8 37 .356 Year Age Tm Lg Lev G PA AB HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB 2007 17 Yankees GULF Rk 33 123 107 3 19 12 18 .280 .366 .421 .786 45 2008 18 Charleston SALL A 132 569 525 17 87 37 83 .326 .376 .491 .868 258 2009 19 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA 92 379 347 17 70 28 47 .337 .389 .562 .951 195 2009 19 Tampa FLOR A+ 48 198 180 8 37 14 26 .356 .406 .583 .989 105 2009 19 Trenton EL AA 44 181 167 9 33 14 21 .317 .370 .539 .909 90 2010 20 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA 123 504 453 21 75 46 91 .289 .353 .517 .870 234 2011 21 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA 109 463 420 18 67 36 98 .288 .348 .467 .814 196 5 Seasons 489 2038 1852 76 318 159 337 .308 .366 .501 .867 928 AAA (2 seasons) AAA 232 967 873 39 142 82 189 .289 .351 .493 .843 430 A (1 season) A 132 569 525 17 87 37 83 .326 .376 .491 .868 258 AA (1 season) AA 44 181 167 9 33 14 21 .317 .370 .539 .909 90 Rk (1 season) Rk 33 123 107 3 19 12 18 .280 .366 .421 .786 45 A+ (1 season) A+ 48 198 180 8 37 14 26 .356 .406 .583 .989 105 Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS 2007 17 NYY-min 33 123 107 13 30 6 3 19 12 18 .280 .366 .421 .786 2008 18 NYY-min 132 569 525 86 171 34 17 87 37 83 .326 .376 .491 .868 2009 19 NYY-min 92 379 347 45 117 25 17 70 28 47 .337 .389 .562 .951 2010 20 NYY-min 123 504 453 66 131 34 21 75 46 91 .289 .353 .517 .870 2011 21 NYY-min 109 463 420 52 121 19 18 67 36 98 .288 .348 .467 .814 2011 21 NYY 18 69 61 9 20 4 4 12 7 17 .328 .406 .590 .996 1 Season 18 69 61 9 20 4 4 12 7 17 .328 .406 .590 .996 162 Game Avg. 162 621 549 81 180 36 36 108 63 153 .328 .406 .590 .996

We at The Sombrero expect Montero to be used a lot like Victor Martinez was used in 2011 with Detroit.  Everyone is fully aware of Montero’s struggles behind the dish and the unlikely prognosis of him ever even reaching replacement level status as a backstop.  Montero is slow, uninterested, and inaccurate behind the dish.  He calls a poor game and is likely to be bad defensively no matter where he plays.  The logical play is to put him wherever he can do the least damage on the defensive end. He is plus to double-plus in both the hit and power tools as well as the eye tool.

It remains to be seen exactly what Seattle intends to do with Montero given the presence of Justin Smoak at first, suggesting that some time behind the dish might be expected in 2012.  Wherever he plays, Montero is an All-Star-caliber player and needs absolutely no more seasoning on the farm.  He should open 2012 hitting somewhere near or within the middle of Seattle’s order.


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