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Jesus Montero is playing a lot of first base in winter ball

Nov 7, 2013, 8:40 AM EST

Jesus Montero Getty Images

Jesus Montero has only ever caught and played DH. But now he’s in the Venezuelan Winter League and he’s playing a ton of first base, reports MLB.com.

It’s probably good that he’s learning a new skill. After a rookie year in which he did sorta alright, he hit a mere .208/.264/.327 with three homers in 101 at-bats, got demoted and then got suspended for PEDs. The Mariners have probably given up on him. Still, he’s young and since he once showed a lot of promise he’ll get more chances in the game.  Better that he have as many tools in the toolbox as possible if he wants to take advantage of them.

He’s hitting down in Venezuela too. Maybe his disaster of 2013 was a wakeup call for him.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Another can’t-miss Yankee top prospect traded off for way more than he would ultimately be worth.

    Funny how that keeps happening and teams keep buying the hype.

  2. steincj36 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Pineda hasn’t pitched a game in pinstripes. It’s a lose-lose deal for both teams so far.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Oddly enough, Montero has logged -0.2fWAR in two years in Seattle. Pineda, having not thrown a major league pitch, is at 0.0fWAR.

      So playing Montero has been actually worse than not playing Pineda.

      source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/monteje01.shtml

  3. jarathen - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    His offense plays so much better at 1B, right? Right?

    • zzalapski - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      Montero wouldn’t be the first guy whose bat improved after moving off the dish (e.g., Brian Downing).

  4. Francisco (FC) - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Hitting in Venezuela isn’t all that hard. Montero has a .308 BA and a .745 OPS in 72 AB. You know who’s hitting .385 BA with a .933 OPS in 96 AB? Ender Inciarte! That’s right Rule Pick #5 that the Phillies didn’t even bother keeping for more than 1 day. He’s in the Arizona Diamonbacks system where he hit .281 BA and .688 OPS for Mobile AA this year.

    The quality in Winter Ball varies so wildly that you can’t really say if a player has improved by looking at the stats. In this particular case I would trust more scouts observations since the competition is not at all MLB caliber.

    • jwbiii - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      To be fair, Mobile is probably the worst hitting environment in the minor leagues.

  5. farvite - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Monterio and the Ms are made for eachother!

    Monterio, irrelevant

    Ms, irrelevant

    Perfect match!

    • Patrick R. - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      I’m curious, who’s Monterio? Please tell me he is some sort of Jesus Montero-Ryan Theriot hybrid. That would really be something! And certainly not irrelevant!

  6. coryfor3 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Sure everybody could use a .208 hitter to play first base.

  7. MattJanik - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    I read the headline as “Jesus, Montero is Playing a Lot of First Base in Winter Ball” the first time.

    I really have nothing else to add here.

    • zzalapski - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      He stays on the field even when his team is up at bat, because he likes playing there so damn much.

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