Monday, June 16, 2008

Prospect Profile: C Jesus Montero (#6)

C Jesus Montero, New York YankeesThrough 67 games, Jesus Montero is leading the Charleston RiverDogs (A) in all three Triple Crown categories. The catcher/designated hitter has a .309 batting average, 7 home runs and 47 runs batted in. He also leads the team in doubles (19).

Upon Montero’s signing, Carlos Rios, the Yankees’ scout coordinator in Latin America, told espn.com, “His main assets are his bat and his great arm, but Montero has the complete package and even George Steinbrenner got excited.”

Scouting Report: C Jesus Montero

C Jesus Montero, New York YankeesDuring the summer of 2006, the Yankees inked C Jesus Montero (Venezuela) for $2 million – the highest bonus given to any international free agent. After a difficult showing in the instructional league, however, his signing bonus was reduced to $1.6 million.

There is considerable debate as to whether Montero can stay behind the plate. Last season he threw out just three of 32 basestealers (for 9 percent). The Yankees believe he has the athleticism, arm strength and work ethic to stay behind the plate. If he does, he profiles as a future all-star.

Montero is considered to have an 80 on the 20-80 scale for power.

According to BA's 2008 prospect handbook, Montero “has exceptional raw power to all fields, coupling a discerning eye for a young player with brute strength and bat speed. He has plenty of arm strength for his position and natural leadership ability.”
Plate discipline is an issue: he's drawn just 14 walks against 44 strikeouts in 278 at-bats.

Development/Progress: -- Jesus Montero’s Career Statistics --
As a 17-year-old in the Gulf Coast League, Montero played in 33 games in 2007. He hit .280 with three homers in 107 at bats.

Invited to 2008 spring training, Montero slugged a home run in his only at bat before being reassigned to minor league camp.

Baseball America Prospect Rankings: 2007 - #21; 2008 - #6.

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