A few days ago, I posted an excerpt from a story written by ESPN's Andrew Marchand, where he wrote that the Yankees would be counting on Jesus Montero in 2011, and that he is ready to catch in the majors. Everything I have read to this point says he is not a good defensive catcher, an actually he is pretty bad behind the plate.
Here are more comments from the article, including comments from GM Brian Cashman:
Meanwhile, Montero might be a young Posada, a plus hitter at the catching position, making up for average defense. At Triple-A Montero finished the season well after a slow start, hitting .289 with 21 homers and 75 RBIs. Top Yankees officials felt that his defense progressed to the point where he can catch in the majors.
"I do have people who believe he is ready at the catching position with a tremendous offensive bat," Cashman said. "But nothing gets handed to somebody. You have to take it and earn it. He'll have a chance to come to spring training and fight for something, and he'll either show he is ready for something at a higher level or not."
It appears word is spreading around baseball that Montero has a good shot at being the Yankees starting catcher in 2011, as Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto wrote in a recent article that the Yankees are seriously pondering making Montero their starting catcher and moving catcher Jorge Posada to DH.
I question whether the Yankees are propping up Montero's value for an offseason trade, as they have already tried to trade him twice in the last year. If not, I wonder where Montero would rank amongst fantasy catchers in 2011.
I would rank him behind Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Victor Martinez, Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, John Buck, Jorge Posada (he will still have eligibility), Miguel Montero and Mike Napoli for sure. But after that, does he rank ahead of Geovany Soto? Maybe not, but I don't think I would rank anyone else ahead of him in my 2011 rankings.
Montero hit .289-.353-.517 with 21 HRs, 75 RBIs, 65 runs scored and 34 doubles. One stat that concerns me is that his K% increased from 12.6% to 20.1% with the move to AAA IN 2010. But even still, Montero is considered one of the best hitting prospects in the minors, and has 80 power on a 20-80 scouting scale. His power is in the same league as Mike Stanton.
Is Jesus Montero a top 10 catcher in 2011?