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Yankees tell Jesus Montero to skip winter ball

Oct 18, 2011, 11:39 AM EDT

Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero won’t participate in winter ball after the Yankees decided he’s played enough games this year, according to Chad Jennings of the New York Journal News.

Montero played 109 games at Triple-A prior to being called up on September 1 and got into 18 more games for the Yankees down the stretch, totaling 532 plate appearances overall.

He caught 91 of those 127 games, although Montero was behind the plate just three times in five weeks following his promotion to the majors.

He’s in line to be the Yankees’ regular designated hitter as a 22-year-old rookie next season after going 20-for-61 (.328) with four homers, four doubles, and seven walks in his debut.

  1. aceshigh11 - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Is it normal to make a 22-year old a designated hitter?

    Is it because he’s too valuable offensively to risk the wear-and-tear of being an everyday catcher (see Joe Mauer)?

    • dodger88 - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

      High upside offensively but from what I have read he ranges from weak to horrible defensively behind the plate.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        That makes sense…I read that he wasn’t much of a catcher.

        You have to wonder how many more years A-Rod can play 3rd effectively though.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        By both defensive metrics (TZ/UZR), Arod was good defensively this year. And the eye test from the ALDS seemed to agree. But yeah, he’ll need to moved in a few years which creates a huge logjam with Jeter and Montero =\

      • lukeslice - Oct 18, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        BUT by then Montero will be able to play a serviceable right field…or Tex can go to 3B…or they’ll have traded Montero for King Felix anyway. Somehow it will make sense.

      • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2011 at 12:39 AM

        I don’t think it’s A-Rod being effective defensively at third, as much as A-Rod staying healthy that the Yankees have to worry about.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    They probably don’t want him getting hurt either, in case they need him as a major chip in a trade for a big-time starter in case Capt’n Crunch opts out and says bye-bye.

    • marinersnate - Oct 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM

      Yep, it is all about not hurting his trade value. The Yankees have been dangling him for a SP for two years now. They have no place for him to play. A-Rod and Jeter will be their DH’s over the next few years. If they really saw Montero as a C, he would be headed to winter ball.

      • portlax12 - Oct 18, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        There is no way the Yankees are trading a young promising prospect who projects to be a dominant DH for years to come to make room for an aging Jeter or Arod. Unless Seattle is offering up King Felix, there is no reason to trade this kid. If he hits like the scouts say he can, the Yankees will find a way to work him into their plans.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 18, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I still can’t help thinking that as a mediocre to not very good catcher (Napoli, Posada, even Piazza?) he would have more value than as a DH. At the very least, it seems he should be given every opportunity to succeed behind the plate before they move him outit.

    I think evaluating him based on how he catches Freddy Garcia is a little harsh, since Garcia’s junk is probably about as easy to catch as a knuckle ball.

    • protectthishouse54 - Oct 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      +1. I’d love to see the Yanks give him a chance, because I’d hate to see us trade away our best prospect in years. After all the hype and then finally seeing him in action, he feels like the future of the Yankees. Unfortunately, Girardi is obsessed with defensive catchers who hit .237.

  4. lazlosother - Oct 18, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    The Yanks had him catching in the minors because they didn’t know what else to do with him. They didn’t think he would be able to last at the position as he matures and puts on weight. He doesn’t project well at any defensive position, and the place he could be “hid”, first, is taken for years. He has always been seen as a DH in waiting. I think the decision to keep him out of winter ball pretty much spells the end of his time as a catcher.

    They’ll either trade him for pitching, or slot him as the DH, and occasional backup for Martin.

  5. humanexcrement - Oct 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    You’re looking at the next great DH, the next Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz, Jim Thome, Frank Thomas. He’s THAT good of a hitter.

    • yankeesgameday - Oct 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      But someone that good of a hitter who can ALSO catch is even more valuable because you can also go get another DH.

      the real key here is Russell martin. He plays next year at C, then montero takes over full time in ’13 as arod becomes full time Dh.

  6. nickynick04 - Oct 18, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    I met this kid 3 times, had seats on the front row near on deck circle..
    Total pompus arse !
    Acts like he is the 2nd coming of the Mick

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