Scouts Still Don’t See Jesus Montero Sticking As Catcher

Via the NY Daily News:

As for [Jesus Montero], whom the Yankees have been hyping as being ready to step in as their No. 1 catcher next season: “That’s a real reach,” said one of the scouts. “I don’t doubt Montero’s going to hit in the majors, but his defense behind the plate and handling of pitchers still leaves a lot to be desired for me. I just don’t know if he’s ever going to do the work he needs to constantly do to be an accomplished major league catcher.”

Said the other scout: “The Yankees can say all they want about Montero, especially since they’re doing a great job of building his trade value, but you can’t tell me they’re going to turn that $100 million pitching staff over to him next year. The Yankees, above all, know the importance of catching and they’ve got a good one, a potentially very good one, in [Austin Romine]. In my opinion, Romine is ready to catch in the big leagues, and I think in time, he’ll hit .280 with 10-15 homers.”

These paragraphs trouble me. Montero’s bat seems like it has the potential to be very special, but if he doesn’t have a position going forward it makes me think the Yankees will continue to dangle him in trades. If the Yankees can’t sign Cliff Lee this offseason they will be eager to make a trade for an elite starter and Montero is by far their biggest trade chip. It makes me feel like if the Yankees can’t sign Lee, Montero is as good as gone.

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8 Responses to Scouts Still Don’t See Jesus Montero Sticking As Catcher

  1. Mike S. says:

    It troubles me as well. I like Montero's bat. But at least they do have Romine not far behind (if behind at all, as far as scout's opinions go). Then you have Gary Sanchez possibly three to four years away. What Sanchez did in the Gulf Coast Rookie League and at Staten Island at age 17 was something. I'm looking forward to seeing what Montero, Romine and Sanchez do this year. Thinking Sanchez (at age 18) at Low-A Charleston to start 2011? You think about moving Montero, but DH is tough since that needs to go to Alex, Jeter and Posada. 1B is out because of Teixeira. That leaves potentially a corner OF spot, but some people I talked to say that Montero is too slow and lumbering to be able to handle that. So hmm…

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    You guys may remember that Montero was disciplined this year for attitude problems. And there is no position for him besides catcher, so I'm all for trading him if it brings a top of the rotation pitcher. Because it is a defenders position.

  3. I don't think he was disciplined for anything. I think what happened was that the Yankees didn't like how he showed up to spring training this season. But everything I've read since then has been about how extremely hard he has worked all season long. He certainly doesn't have an attitude problem. He's still extremely young, in my opinion, you don't even worry about what happened this past February because of what he did in response to that.

  4. Tanned Tom says:

    Lack of hustle. I hate it. The NYY hate it. When Cano had this problem, the team jettisoned the other players who were contributing to this attitude: the perpetually under performing Bobby Abreu (who could at least turn it on) and Melky Cabrera (who couldn't figure out why he was demoted when he was hitting .240). Cano got the message, worked harder, and turn his career around.

    But for this to happen while in the minors…Well, let me ask this, name me a great player ever benched for not hustling.

    • Paul O'Neill, Reggie Jackson. That's just off the top of my head.

      • Mike S. says:

        Not benched, but booed— Mickey Mantle in 1960. He thought there were two outs. Maris on first. Maris goes in hard at second (and got injured on the play). Mickey didn't hustle down the line, thinking that the force was the third out.

  5. Mike S. says:

    Slightly off. Roger was taken out of the game after he went in hard on a ball Hector Lopez hit for the forceout. Then with Lopez on, Mantle made his mental error. After that, Lopez went from LF to RF. Casey removed Mantle (so you could call it a benching) from the game, Kubek going from SS to CF, Cerv to LF. DeMaestri to SS.

    August 14, 1960. 2nd game of a DH. Maris was out for 12 days. You find find it here:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA19

    The Yanks lost that one in 15, 6-3 to Washington. At the time, they were in 3rd, 1/2 game out.

    Mantle was back in the lineup the next day (couldn't keep him benched with Maris out). He went 2-4, both HR, 4 RBI in the Yanks' 4-3 win. 2-Run HR off Wilhelm in the bottom of the 8th. Put the Yanks in 1st.