Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Minor League Notes: Montero and Brackman

Yesterday I posted these minor league notes from Chad Jennings. Tonight, over on Mark Feinsand's Blogging The Bombers, Anthony McCarron posted this article that was supposed to be in Sunday's paper. A-Rod's steroid story quickly ended that from happening. The article had this to say about Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero:

Montero, perhaps the Yanks’ best position-player prospect, could one day be Posada’s replacement behind the plate. Though there’s been speculation that Montero, a burly, 6-3, 230-pound Venezuelan, might have to switch positions, the Yankees say they are committed to him as a receiver.

“That’s our intention and, more importantly, that’s his intention, too,” said Mark Newman, the Yankees’ vice president of baseball operations. “Right now, he hasn’t shown us anything that tells us he can’t do it. He improved his throw-out percentage last year. He’s a big boy, so he’s got to maintain lower body flexibility, but he’s got very good arm strength and he’s very bright, so he’ll run a game very well.”

“The conventional wisdom might be that he’s too big. But our attitude is that he can do it and we expect him to do it. He’s a catcher and he’s nothing beyond that, at this time.”

And Newman also had this to say about Andrew Brackman:

“In Hawaii, he had mediocre games and very good games,” Newman said. “It was the first time he had pitched in quite a while and it was a good challenge for him. His velocity was 94-97 (miles per hour) and he has top of the rotation type stuff.”

However, Newman cautioned, “Tall pitchers typically need a little more time to make sure all the body parts work together.”

He will be just 19 this season so it will take some time before Montero is ready for the big leagues. Last year in 132 games with Charleston he hit .326/.376/.491 with 17 HR and 87 RBI, and in 2007 he hit .280/.366/.421 with 3 HR and 19 RBI in 33 games for the Gulf Coast League Yankees.

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