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Jesus Montero looks like a new person at Mariners spring training

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Montero, who was once in the discussion for the best hitting prospect in the game, has shown up to Mariners camp looking like a new person.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Just saw Jesus Montero for the first time from a distance. Didn&#39;t even recognize him at first.</p>&mdash; Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) <a href="https://twitter.com/RyanDivish/status/568468348566048768">February 19, 2015</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I&#39;m a spring training Ansel Adams .. RT <a href="https://twitter.com/LookoutLanding">@LookoutLanding</a>: These pictures are exactly one year apart: (via <a href="https://twitter.com/RyanDivish">@RyanDivish</a>) <a href="http://t.co/O8EpITgGip">pic.twitter.com/O8EpITgGip</a></p>&mdash; Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) <a href="https://twitter.com/RyanDivish/status/568485103762079744">February 19, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Mariners beat reporter Ryan Divish said that Montero's swing looks remarkably easy with the major weight loss:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Montero is going to talk with the media tomorrow. Pretty startling to see how well he moved and the ease of his swing at the lighter weight</p>&mdash; Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) <a href="https://twitter.com/RyanDivish/status/568484574138896384">February 19, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Last season, Montero reached a low point when a scout had an ice cream sandwich delivered to Montero in the dugout of a Class A game, enraging Montero and causing him to charge the scout in the stands.

Of course, the extreme weight loss does not mean he will be a productive hitter in the big leagues. It simply means that he is suddenly a player to keep a watch on again. Montero is just 25 years old and was so highly thought of that Baseball Prospectus (BP) called him "arguably the best hitting prospect in the minors" prior to the 2011 season. BP wrote,

Montero is the rare prospect with both plus-plus power and hitting ability. He has excellent bat speed, fantastic hands, quick wrists, and immense strength that allows him to drive balls out of any part of the park while maintaining a high batting average.

BP added that his ceiling was "an impact hitter with consistent All-Star-level numbers", said that his fantasy value "could be massive".

Again, don't overreact to this news. It just means that Montero is back on the radar.