Jesús Montero

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Jesús Montero
Jesus Montero.JPG
Montero with the Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners – No. 63
First Baseman / Catcher / Designated Hitter
Born: (1989-11-28) November 28, 1989 (age 24)
Guacara, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 1, 2011 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .258
Hits 175
Home runs 22
Runs batted in 83
Teams

Jesús Alejandro Montero Lopez (born November 28, 1989) is a Venezuelan professional baseball catcher and designated hitter in the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball organization. He was originally signed by the New York Yankees before being traded to the Mariners for top prospect Michael Pineda.

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

On July 2, 2006, Montero signed with the New York Yankees, receiving $1.6 million.[1] Montero was considered to be the best player and to have the best power of any 2006 international signee.[2]

In 2007 at age 17 Montero made his professional debut for the Gulf Coast Yankees. As a result of his performance he was invited to the Yankees 2008 Spring Training, where he hit a home run in his only at bat before being assigned to minor league camp.[3] He spent the 2008 season with the Class A Charleston RiverDogs, where he batted .326 with 17 home runs and 87 RBI, with 2 stolen bases.[4]

He began 2009 with the Tampa Yankees, the Class A-Advanced Florida State League affiliate of the Yankees, but on June 3, 2009, Montero was promoted to the Double-A Trenton Thunder.[5] Despite having played only a portion of the 2009 season in Trenton, Montero was added to the Eastern League All-Star roster.[6] He was named the Yankees' second best prospect for 2009[7] and the third best prospect in baseball by Baseball America.[8] He was named to the All-Star Futures Game for the second year in a row, which features baseball's best minor league prospects. Montero's season ended prematurely when he sustained a broken finger while catching.[9][10]

Montero with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Triple-A affiliates of the New York Yankees, in 2010.

Montero was named the Yankees' best prospect for 2010 by Baseball America[11] and the fifth best in all of baseball.[12] He was invited to spring training,[13] where Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long declared him ready for the Majors as a hitter,[14] though the team wanted to see improvement on defense. Montero spent the 2010 season with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Early in the season, Montero struggled,[15] but he improved after the All-Star break.[16] He was named to the International League All-Star game[17] the Postseason All-Star team,[18] and was chosen as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Player of the Year.[19]

At the 2010 MLB trade deadline, the Yankees and Seattle Mariners almost completed a deal that would have sent Montero, Zach McAllister, and David Adams to the Mariners for Cliff Lee. When the teams shared medical reports, the Mariners were concerned by Adams' health. As a result, they chose to trade Lee to the Texas Rangers in a package centered around Justin Smoak.[20]

Montero contended for a spot on the Yankees' 25-man roster in 2011 spring training.[21] Yankees officials believed Montero was ready to be the starting catcher, which would have enabled Jorge Posada to shift to designated hitter,[22] though the signing of Russell Martin allowed the Yankees to be patient with Montero.[23] A spring training injury to Francisco Cervelli gave the Yankees an opportunity to use Montero as Martin's backup,[24][25] but they decided to have Montero begin the 2011 season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.[26]

New York Yankees (2011)[edit]

2011 season[edit]

Montero was promoted to the Yankees on September 1, 2011. He started his first major league game that same day as the designated hitter against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Montero went 0-4 and was hit by a pitch, but scored the go-ahead run when he was driven in by Yankees catcher Russell Martin in the seventh inning.[27] He made his first start at Yankee Stadium on September 3, 2011, against the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 1-3, hitting a single to left field in the 6th inning with 2 outs for his first major league hit.[28] On Labor Day of September 5, 2011, during a game against the Baltimore Orioles, Montero hit his first two home runs of his Major League career and the Yankees took an 11–10 victory.[29]

Jesús Montero as a Seattle Mariner.

Montero became the first 21-year-old rookie to hit two home runs in one game since Manny Ramirez did in 1993.[30] Montero started his first game as a catcher against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 11.[31] Against the Red Sox on September 24, Montero fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle.[32] Montero ended the year with a .328 batting average, which included four home runs.

Seattle Mariners (2012–present)[edit]

During the 2011–12 off season, Montero was traded from the Yankees to the Mariners with Héctor Noesí for Michael Pineda and José Campos.[33]

2012 season[edit]

Montero was the opening day designated hitter and split time between catcher and designated hitter during the season, in which he played 135 games. His best game of the season occurred on August 12, when he contributed 0.38 to the team's win probability; his worst game occurred against Baltimore, September 18, when he cost the team .39 wins. Despite the high expectations he established with the Yankees in 2011, he was not a rookie of the year finalist. Montero finished the 2012 season with a .260 batting average, 15 home runs, and 62 RBI.

2013 season[edit]

Montero began his 2013 season slowly as he compiled only a .208 batting average, 3 home runs, and 9 RBI in his first 29 games played. He was demoted to the Triple-A Tacoma Rainers on May 23, 2013.[34] With Tacoma in 2013, he played first base for the first time in his professional career. On June 1, it was announced that Montero had sustained a torn meniscus in his left knee. Needing surgery to repair it, Montero was ruled out of any active competition for a period of four to six weeks.[35]

On August 5, 2013, Montero accepted a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis clinic.[36]

2014 season[edit]

Montero showed up for 2014 spring training 40 pounds over his target weight. He said, "After winter ball, all I did was eat."[37] Mariners' General Manager Jack Zduriencik said he has "zero expectations" about Montero.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rojas, Enrique (July 3, 2006). "Top Latino prospects get major-league deals". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 25, 2008. 
  2. ^ Manuel, John (November 8, 2006). "Baseball America: Prospects: Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees". Baseball America. Retrieved January 25, 2008. 
  3. ^ Hoch, Bryan (January 15, 2008). "Yankees invite 26 to Spring Training". MLB.com. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  4. ^ "MiLB.com Player Stats Page". MiLB.com. September 2, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008. 
  5. ^ Ashmore, Mike (June 3, 2009). "Montero's coming". Mike Ashmore's Thunder Thoughts. 
  6. ^ "Thunder C Montero Added To EL All Star Roster" (Press release). Trentonthunder.com. July 8, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ "New York Yankees Top 10 Prospects, 2009". Baseball America. November 10, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Baseball America Prospects Blog | Midseason Top 25 Prospects". Baseball America. July 9, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ Cory Giger (August 1, 2009). "Yankees prospect Montero taken to hospital with hand injury". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ Abraham, Peter (August 2, 2009). "Game 105: Yankees at White Sox". LoHud Yankees Blog (The Journal News). Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  11. ^ "New York Yankees Top 10 Prospects, 2010". Baseball America. December 16, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Nationals phenom flashed top form in Fall League play". CNN. December 23, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  13. ^ Hoch, Bryan (February 23, 2010). "Montero's power on display in camp | MLB.com: News". MLB.com (Mlb.mlb.com). Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ Shpigel, Ben (March 13, 2010). "Yanks' Montero Looks to Claim Squatters' Rights". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Prospects: Rankings: Top 100 Prospects: Midseason Updated Top 25 Prospects". BaseballAmerica.com. July 9, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  16. ^ Weisberger, Jed (August 30, 2010). "Blog Archive » Accomplishments by Nova, Nunez Not a Surprise". Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ Raskin, Alex (July 14, 2010). "IL, PCL set to renew All-Star rivalry". MiLB.com (Minor League Baseball). Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Durham’s Johnson Named 2010 IL MVP; Hellickson, Freeman, & Montoyo Round Out Award Winners" (Press release). International League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. August 31, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Yankees champs again". The Times Leader. August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  20. ^ Stone, Larry (September 23, 2011). "Brian Cashman: Jesus Montero would have been best player "by far" traded for Cliff Lee". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  21. ^ Marchand, Andrew (October 25, 2010). "Jesus Montero next in line for Yankees". ESPN New York (ESPN.com). Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  22. ^ Feinsand, Mark (November 5, 2010). "Jesus Montero will get chance to win starting catching job, Jorge Posada will slide in as Yankees DH". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Russell Martin: His knee, his hip and his role". The Lohud Yankees Blog (The Journal News). December 16, 2010. Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  24. ^ Barbarisi, Daniel (March 5, 2011). "Yankees' Montero Gets His Chance". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  25. ^ Shpigel, Ben (March 4, 2011). "Cervelli To Miss 6-8 Weeks With Broken Foot". The New York Times Baseball Blog (New York Times). Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Montero and Pena officially sent to Triple-A". The Journal News; The Lohud Yankees Blog. March 28, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  27. ^ Waldstein, David (September 1, 2011). "Yankees Welcome Jesus Montero to the Majors". NYTimes.com. Bats.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  28. ^ Boorstein, Thomas (September 3, 2011). "Montero on the board with first big league hit". Yankees.com Notebook (MLB.com). Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  29. ^ Boorstein, Thomas (September 5, 2011). "Jesus Montero blasts first 2 career HRs as Yanks edge O's". ESPN.com Notebook (ESPN). Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  30. ^ "What took so long? Jesus Montero homers twice for Yankees in fourth career game | HardballTalk". Hardballtalk.nbcsports.com. August 31, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Yankees at Angels: Jesus Montero in starting lineup as catcher". The Star-Ledger. September 11, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  32. ^ Hoch, Bryan (September 24, 2011). "With rout Yanks keep pressure on Boston". MLB.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Pineda trade becomes official". LoHud Yankees Blog. January 23, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  34. ^ Otano, John (May 23, 2013). "Report: Mariners demote catcher Jesus Montero". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Jesus Montero out 4-6 weeks with torn meniscus | HardballTalk". Hardballtalk.nbcsports.com. June 1, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  36. ^ Stone, Larry. "(UPDATE) It's official: Jesus Montero accepts 50-game suspension | Hot Stone League | Seattle Times". Blogs.seattletimes.com. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  37. ^ Ryan Divish (February 20, 2014). "Mariners are blunt about Jesus Montero: He's overweight, needs to find motivation". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  38. ^ Divish, Ryan (February 20, 2014). "The forgotten prospect: GM Jack Zduriencik has 'no expectations' for Jesus Montero | Mariners blog | Seattle Times". Blogs.seattletimes.com. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 

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