Montero with the Seattle Mariners
|Seattle Mariners – No. 63|
|First baseman / Catcher|
November 28, 1989 |
|September 1, 2011 for the New York Yankees|
(through August 10, 2015)
|Runs batted in||94|
Jesús Alejandro Montero Lopez (born November 28, 1989) is a Venezuelan professional baseball catcher and first baseman for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). He debuted in MLB with the New York Yankees in 2011, and has played for the Mariners since 2012.
Signed by the Yankees in 2006, Montero became one of the best prospects in baseball. After he debuted in MLB, the Yankees traded him to the Mariners for Michael Pineda. After his rookie year in 2012, Montero struggled with the Mariners in 2013 before ending his season with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. He spent most of the 2014 season in Minor League Baseball.
On July 2, 2006, Montero, an amateur free agent, signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB), receiving a $1.6 million signing bonus. Baseball America considered Montero to be the best player available and the best power hitter in the 2006 international free agent class. In 2007, at age 17, Montero made his professional debut in Minor League Baseball for the Gulf Coast Yankees of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. As a result of his performance, the Yankees invited Montero to spring training in 2008, where he hit a home run in his only at bat before being assigned to minor league camp. He spent the 2008 season with the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A South Atlantic League, where he batted .326 with 17 home runs and 87 runs batted in (RBIs), with two stolen bases. Baseball America rated Montero as the Yankees' second best prospect after the 2008 season.
Montero began the 2009 season with the Tampa Yankees, the Class A-Advanced Florida State League affiliate of the Yankees. On June 3, 2009, the Yankees promoted Montero the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League. He hit .317 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 44 games with the Thunder. Despite having played only a portion of the 2009 season in Trenton, Montero was added to the Eastern League All-Star roster. Baseball America ranked Montero as the third best prospect in baseball at midseason in 2009. He was named to appear in 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.
At the start of the 2010 season, Baseball America ranked Montero as the Yankees' best prospect, and as the fifth-best prospect in all of baseball. The Yankees invited Montero to spring training, where Yankees' hitting coach Kevin Long declared him ready for the majors as a hitter, though the team wanted to see improvement on defense. Montero spent the 2010 season with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of the Class AAA International League. Early in the season, Montero struggled, but he improved after the All-Star break. Montero admitted that he did not spend as much time practicing in the batting cage as he should, and that Alex Rodriguez started fining Montero $100 for every day he didn't work out in the cage.
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.
Montero was named to appear in the International League All-Star game He finished the season with a .289 batting average, 21 home runs, and 75 RBIs in 123 games. Montero was honored on the International League's Postseason All-Star team, and was chosen as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Player of the Year.
Montero contended for a spot on the Yankees' 25-man roster in spring training in 2011. Yankees officials believed Montero was ready to be the starting catcher, which would have enabled Jorge Posada to shift to designated hitter, though the signing of Russell Martin allowed the Yankees to be patient with Montero. A spring training injury to Francisco Cervelli gave the Yankees an opportunity to use Montero as Martin's backup, but Montero performed poorly with the pressure, and the team decided it was best for Montero to play every day in the minor leagues, rather than two games a week in the majors. Montero began the 2011 season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Montero batted .288 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on the season.
New York Yankees (2011)
The Yankees promoted Montero to the major leagues on September 1, 2011, as a September call-up. 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-for-4, but was hit by a pitch and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning. He made his first start at Yankee Stadium on September 3, 2011, against the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 1-for-3, hitting a single to left field in the sixth inning with two outs for his first major league hit. On September 5, 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.
Montero became the first 21-year-old rookie to hit two home runs in one of his first five games game since Manny Ramirez did in 1993. Montero started his first game as a catcher against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 11. Against the Red Sox on September 24, Montero fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle. Montero ended the year with a .328 batting average, which included four home runs and 28 RBIs in 18 games.
Seattle Mariners (2012–present)
During the 2011–12 off season, the Yankees traded Montero with Héctor Noesí for Michael Pineda and José Campos. The Mariners had finished last in runs scored in the past two years, and their need for a right-handed power hitter led them to trade Pineda from their depth of top-tier pitching prospects. Yankees' General Manager Brian Cashman said that Montero "may well be the best player I’ve ever traded".
Montero made the Mariners' Opening Day roster in 2012. During the season, the Mariners split his playing time between catcher and designated hitter, and he appeared in a total of 135 games. Despite the high expectations he established with the Yankees in 2011, he was not a MLB Rookie of the Year Award finalist. Montero finished the 2012 season with a .260 batting average, 15 home runs, and 62 RBIs.
Montero began his 2013 season slowly. as he compiled only a .208 batting average, three home runs, and nine RBIs in his first 29 games played. He was demoted to the Tacoma Rainers of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League on May 23, 2013. As he struggled throwing out baserunners attempting stolen bases, the Mariners played Montero as a first baseman for the first time in his professional career. He struggled offensively with Tacoma, batting .247 with one home run and nine RBIs.
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. On August 5, Montero accepted a 50-game suspension for his involvement the Biogenesis baseball scandal, by which the Biogenesis of America clinic supplied performance-enhancing drugs to MLB players. After the regular season, Montero returned to Venezuela to play in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (VPBL). A hand injury that occurred while in a car accident ended his participation in the VPBL for the season.
Montero showed up for 2014 spring training weighing 275 pounds (125 kg), 40 pounds (18 kg) above his target weight. He said, "After winter ball, all I did was eat." Mariners' general manager Jack Zduriencik said he has "zero expectations" about Montero. He spent much of the season in the minor leagues. He batted .286 in 97 games for Tacoma, hitting 16 home runs with 74 RBIs. He suffered an oblique strain late in the season, and while on the disabled list, played for the Everett AquaSox of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League on a rehab assignment.
In a game against the Boise Hawks, Montero was involved in an altercation with roving instructor Butch Baccala. Baccala, serving as the first base coach for the AquaSox, asked Montero to leave the field in a timely manner at the conclusion of an inning. Baccala then sent an ice cream sandwich to the dugout for Montero. Montero was not happy to be reminded of his earlier weight problem. He grabbed a bat, found Baccala in the stands, and threw the sandwich at Baccala while yelling expletives. The Mariners organization barred Montero from playing the rest of the 2014 season for this incident. Zduriencik stated:
"First off, it is clear that both Jesus Montero and Butch Baccala engaged in behavior that is far below what we expect from members of our organization, including bad judgment at nearly every stage of this incident. I want to apologize on behalf of the Mariners franchise to the Boise Hawks and their fans. We recognize that fans, including children, were impacted by this incident, and the language that was used. We recognize the severity of this incident, and want to assure the Hawks and their fans that it will be dealt with appropriately."
Montero trained in Peoria, Arizona, over the offseason, rather than returning to Venezuela. He reported to spring training in 2015 at 230 pounds (100 kg), and apologized for the incident in Boise. The Mariners optioned him to Tacoma two weeks before the beginning of the season to continue to receive regular at bats. While with Tacoma, the team's coaches noted that Montero's defense at first base had improved, to the point where Cory Snyder opined that Montero could play the position in the majors. After Montero batted .332 with 15 home runs and 68 RBIs in 84 games for Tacoma, the Mariners promoted him to the major leagues on July 9. He batted 3-for-10 while drawing three walks in five games before he was optioned back to Tacoma on July 19. The Mariners recalled Montero on July 31, after trading several players at the MLB trade deadline. Though he began by batting .325 13-for-40 (.325) with the Mariners, his batting average fell to .200 by September as he fell into a 2-for-35 (.057) slump. The Mariners optioned Montero to Tacoma on September 2, despite there only being six games left in Tacoma's season.
- Rojas, Enrique (July 3, 2006). "Top Latino prospects get major-league deals". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Manuel, John (November 8, 2006). "Baseball America: Prospects: Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees". Baseball America. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Hoch, Bryan (January 15, 2008). "Yankees invite 26 to Spring Training". MLB.com. Retrieved January 15, 2008.
- "MiLB.com Player Stats Page". MiLB.com. September 2, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- "New York Yankees Top 10 Prospects, 2009". Baseball America. November 10, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- Ashmore, Mike (June 3, 2009). "Montero's coming". Mike Ashmore's Thunder Thoughts.
- Giger, Cory (August 1, 2009). "Yankees prospect Montero taken to hospital with hand injury". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
- "Thunder C Montero Added To EL All Star Roster" (Press release). Trenton Thunder. July 8, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- "Baseball America Prospects Blog | Midseason Top 25 Prospects". Baseball America. July 9, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- Abraham, Peter (August 2, 2009). "Game 105: Yankees at White Sox". LoHud Yankees Blog (The Journal News). Retrieved August 2, 2009.
- "New York Yankees Top 10 Prospects, 2010". Baseball America. December 16, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- "Nationals phenom flashed top form in Fall League play". CNN. December 23, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- Hoch, Bryan (February 23, 2010). "Montero's power on display in camp". MLB.com. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- Shpigel, Ben (March 13, 2010). "Yanks' Montero Looks to Claim Squatters' Rights". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
- "Prospects: Rankings: Top 100 Prospects: Midseason Updated Top 25 Prospects". BaseballAmerica.com. July 9, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- 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.
- Eaton, Nick (January 23, 2012). "How A-Rod bribed Jesus Montero into being a better hitter". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- 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.
- Raskin, Alex (July 14, 2010). "IL, PCL set to renew All-Star rivalry". MiLB.com (Minor League Baseball). Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- 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 March 22, 2015.
- "Durham’s Johnson Named 2010 IL MVP; Hellickson, Freeman, & Montoyo Round Out Award Winners" (PDF) (Press release). International League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. August 31, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Yankees champs again". The Times Leader. August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- Marchand, Andrew (October 25, 2010). "Jesus Montero next in line for Yankees". ESPN New York (ESPN.com). Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- 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.
- "Russell Martin: His knee, his hip and his role". The Lohud Yankees Blog (The Journal News). December 16, 2010. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
- Barbarisi, Daniel (March 5, 2011). "Yankees' Montero Gets His Chance". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
- 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.
- Waldstein, David (September 1, 2011). "Yankees Welcome Jesus Montero to the Majors". The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- "Montero and Pena officially sent to Triple-A". The Journal News; The Lohud Yankees Blog. March 28, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Boorstein, Thomas (September 3, 2011). "Montero on the board with first big league hit". Yankees.com Notebook (MLB.com). Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- 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.
- "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.
- "Yankees at Angels: Jesus Montero in starting lineup as catcher". The Star-Ledger. September 11, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Hoch, Bryan (September 24, 2011). "With rout Yanks keep pressure on Boston". MLB.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "New York Yankees deal Jesus Montero for Seattle Mariners' Michael Pineda, source says - ESPN New York". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- "Pineda trade becomes official". LoHud Yankees Blog. January 23, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- "Mariners, Yanks nearing Pineda, Montero swap". Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Johns, Greg (January 16, 2012). "Pitching depth allowed Mariners to deal Pineda: Prospects Walker, Paxton a big part of club's future plans". MLB.com (MLB Advanced Media). Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- Matthews, Wallace (February 4, 2014). "The rise and fall of Jesus Montero". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Beene, Darrin (March 27, 2012). "Mariners 2012 Opening Day roster". The News Tribune. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Moore, Jim (March 6, 2015). "Encouraging signs from the new-look Jesus Montero". 710Sports.com. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Otano, John (May 23, 2013). "Report: Mariners demote catcher Jesus Montero". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "Jesus Montero out 4-6 weeks with torn meniscus | HardballTalk". Hardballtalk.nbcsports.com. June 1, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- Stone, Larry (August 5, 2013). "(UPDATE) It's official: Jesus Montero accepts 50-game suspension | Hot Stone League". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- Divish, Ryan (February 20, 2015). "Mariners’ Jesus Montero: Less weight, more humility". Retrieved March 7, 2015.
- 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.
- Divish, Ryan (February 20, 2014). "The forgotten prospect: GM Jack Zduriencik has 'no expectations' for Jesus Montero". Seattle Times. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- Maun, Tyler (August 29, 2014). "Mariners' Montero involved in altercation". MILB.com. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- Miller, Doug; Lewis, Adam (August 29, 2014). "Mariners address reports of Montero incident". MLB.com. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- "Mariners' Montero done for year after altercation". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- "Jesus Montero won't play this season". ESPN.com. August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- Divish, Ryan (March 20, 2015). "Jesus Montero, Franklin Gutierrez among M’s latest cuts". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Stone, Larry (May 4, 2015). "The remarkable redemption of M’s prospect Jesus Montero continues in Tacoma". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Stecker, Brent (July 9, 2015). "Jesus Montero recalled by Mariners, J.A. Happ optioned to minors". 710 ESPN Seattle. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
- Dutton, Bob (July 19, 2015). "Mariners notebook: Jesus Montero upbeat despite returning to Tacoma". The News Tribune. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
- "Mariners bring back Jesus Montero, others after Happ, Lowe trades". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 31, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
- Lewis, Adam (September 2, 2015). "Demoted again: 1B Jesus Montero headed back to Triple-A after failed stint with the Mariners". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- Divish, Ryan (September 2, 2015). "Mariners send Jesus Montero down although Rainiers only have six games left". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- "Bigger, faster, stronger? Not everybody at spring training". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 6, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jesús Montero.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)