Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jesus Montero is a damn good hitter

Here are a few new Jesus Montero's I've managed to pick up recently. His cards are not cheap right now. It's a small sample size for sure, but Montero has been as advertised as a hitter in his short time in the big leagues. Consequently, the prices for his cards have gone way up since his arrival.

I'm relieved by his fast start, honestly. I was worried he'd press right off the bat, trying too hard to show that he belongs in the big leagues. He hasn't at all. His hitting approach is quite mature for only being 21. He is always thinking right center and adjusts accordingly. His power to the opposite field has already served him well at Yankee Stadium, and he's already started making adjustments to the breaking ball as pitchers start changing the way that attack him. Early on, it was pitch him outside, but then he showed power to the opposite field. They then tried to bust him inside and he took Jared Weaver deep and pulled a few balls hard to left. Then the idea was to throw him breaking balls. After a couple of rough ABs chasing breaking balls away, he has been hitting the cover off the ball the last few games.

His 65 ABs haven't just been against no ones, either. His first two HRs (in the same game) were off Jim Johnson, one of the best relievers in the AL. His third HR, a blast to left, was off of Weaver as aforementioned. He smoked a two run double to deep center vs. John Lester on Saturday. Again, a small sample size, but he hasn't been over matched at all against a couple of the AL's best and that's encouraging.

The knock on Montero is whether or not he can catch long term. Personally, I don't think so. Not only because of his size, but because he has a bat that should be in the line-up every day. However, I see no reason why he couldn't catch two games per year next year while DHing three times. I also think he'll learn to play 1B at some point, perhaps to spell Teixeira as he gets a little older. We're not close to that yet, however.

It's early to say, but having Montero in the bottom third of the line-up could pay dividends in the post-season. He'll also qualify for Rookie of the Year in 2012 and should certainly be considered a front runner for that award. I can see a .275 BA with 20+ HRs...not bad for someone who will be 22 years old.

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