“My advice to him is try and learn as much as you can,” Mauer said. “He’s lucky he has Jorge Posada, a pretty good catcher to learn from. And he has Russell Martin there now, too, another good one to help him. Those two guys that have been around the block. He should follow those guys around and learn as much as he can.”
“It’s important to get to know your customers,” Mauer said referring to his own pitching staff.
“Know your staff and the little things that they respond to. You have to learn the pitchers and what they are capable of doing and not doing. Try to put your pitchers in the best situations they can to succeed.”
The fact that the best catcher in baseball is excited about Montero and thinks that he can make it as a catcher says a lot. It goes even further because the two are similar in body-type as they are both extremely tall for their position.
A lot of negative things have been written about Montero’s defensive abilities, but he should be given the benefit of the doubt until he shows he can or cannot get the job done defensively in the major leagues. The reason is because up until now very few eyes have been on him and he is still learning. Just the other day, Joe Girardi said that Montero looked a lot more comfortable behind the plate this spring than he did a year ago.
At one point Mauer was in the same situation, young, still learning, and not a lot of eyes were on him. By the time he matured a bit, learned more about his position, and more people got to see him play, those criticisms went away. Maybe the same thing will happen with Montero. Maybe not, but we won’t know until he tries and tries at the major league level where everyone can see.