Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prospect for Prospect

By Corey R. Cunningham

Catcher Jesus Montero was traded to Seattle for RHP Michael Pineda. Each trade has its value and to some degree makes each team in the long run a winner.

Jesus Montero has been with the Yankees farm system since 2007, and since then has increased his prospect value each year in ranking. Montero started to get noticed in 2008 with Charleston, where he played a full season of 132 games. In those games he had 171 hits, 17 HR, 87 RBI while batting for .326.

In 2009 Montero split the season between Tampa and Trenton, combining for 379 plate appearances. He combined for a total of 117 hits, 70 RBI, 26 extra base hits, while batting .337. In 2010 Montero was promoted to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He batted for a .289 BA, 131 hits, with 37 of those being extra base hits, hitting 21 HR and batting in 75 RBI. He continued to stay in AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2011 averaging the same numbers with a line of, .288 BA, 121 H, 20 extra base hits and 18 HR. Montero played 14 games fewer in 11’ than in 10’.

The 14 games lost at AAA, he spent in the Bronx. Montero was called up for September, and for the playoffs. While playing for the Yankees, he had a total of 61 AB’s, hitting 20 base hits, with 4 of those doubles. He belted 4 HR, 3 of them at Yankee Stadium, 11 of 12 RBI also came at Yankee Stadium and 15 of 20 hits as well came at Yankee Stadium. I think for the 2011 season it was safe to say, Montero feels comfortable in his home ballpark. One stat that has haunted Montero is his K/BB ratio. During his stint with the Yankees he had 17K/7BB, and his total for the minor leagues were 337K/159BB.

In my opinion Seattle was able to move Pineda for a power bat in Montero, due to the depth of Seattle’s pitching prospects. Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton are the names to watch out for in 2012 and beyond. Those names gave Seattle the chance to acquire one of the elite catching prospects in the game. Walker will more than likely start the season at High-A, Hultzen and Paxton have a chance to make the MLB squad, but I think Paxton will have a better shot. Paxton who has AA experience, unlike Hultzen, although Hultzen has college experience with Virginia.

Seattle made a great move, and hopefully now they can make an impact in the AL West in 12’, and bring in some FA talent during the trade deadline or perhaps in the offseason. My projected stats for Montero is as follows: .277 BA, 21 HR, 80 RBI, 158 H, 44 BB, and 101 K. I like Seattle a lot as a sleeper, but I just don’t think they have the talent this year to get much past 3rd in the AL West.

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