Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome to Yankee Stadium: Jesus Montero

As was mentioned before it looked like top Yankees prospect Jesus Montero was going to be called up when rosters expanded on September 1st, and that was in fact the case.  Montero was called up today and is in the lineup as the DH for tonight's game against the Red Sox.

Montero was signed out of Venezuela as a nondrafted free agent in 2006.  His first minor league season was in 2007 in the Gulf Coast League.  That season he hit .280 with 3 HRs, 6 doubles, 13 runs, and 19 RBIs in 33 games.

In 2008, he was promoted to the Charleston RiverDogs.  That season he hit .326 with 17 HRs, 34 doubles, 86 runs, and 87 RBIs in 132 games.  This year he really put himself on the map as a prospect to look out for in the future.  Accolades that he accumulated that season included making the All-Star game for his league in the mid and post-season, played in the Futures Game, and was a Baseball America High Class A All-Star.

Going into the 2009 season Baseball America ranked him as the #38 prospect in all of baseball.  During the season he split time between the Tampa Yankees (High A) and the Trenton Thunder (AA).  In Tampa he hit .356 with 8 HRs, 15 doubles, 26 runs, and 37 RBIs in 48 games.  While in Trenton he hit .317 with 9 HRs, 10 doubles, 19 runs, and 33 RBIs in 44 games.  He was named to the mid-season All-Star game at both levels and again was a Futures Game participant that season.

He made a big jump in rankings after his 2009 season.  Before the 2010 season started he was ranked the #4 prospect in baseball by Baseball America.  He would play the entire season a Scranton/Wilkes Barre (AAA).  There he hit .289 with 21 HRs, 34 doubles, 66 runs, and 75 RBIs in 123 games.  This season solidified his status as a top player in the minors and as someone who could see time in the majors during the next season. Through the season he was named to the mid and post-season All-Star team.

Going into this season most Yankees fans were hoping that Jesus would perform well enough in spring training to make the roster out of camp.  However, this did not happen and with the signing of Russell Martin, Montero again was placed in AAA.  He was ranked preseason as the #3 prospect by Baseball America.  This season he has hit .288 with 18 HRs, 19 doubles, 52 runs, and 67 RBIs in 109 games.  He was named to the mid-season All-Star team.

Montero was not the only player called up today.  The other players are Scott Proctor who has played for several MLB teams in the past including the Yankees from 2004-07.  Chris Dickerson who has been up and down between the majors and AAA all season and is a backup outfielder.  Brandon Laird who can be read about in his welcome post.  The final call up that I've heard so far is Lance Pendleton who was a 4th round pick by the Yankees in 2005.

Edit:  It looks like the Yankees have also called up Raul Valdes, a lefty reliever, who played with the Mets in 2010 and the Cardinals earlier this seaon.

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