Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baseball America's Jim Callis on Jesus Montero

Each week, Callis answers a few user-submitted questions on the wonderful world of prospects. This week, Callis tackled the following question (edited for space):
I've been having a heated debate over who should be regarded as the best hitting prospect left in the minor leagues, with Indians catcher Carlos Santana [snip] included in the discussion. My vote would go to Yankees catcher Jesus Montero, based on his scouting reports, track record and the way he dominated Triple-A pitching in the second half of the season. [snip] Who do you see as the best hitting prospect among players remaining in the minors and Santana?
Callis' response, also edited for space:
I'd take Montero, too, for the reasons that Grant suggests. I don't have confidence he's going to stay at catcher for the long term, but I fully believe in his bat. There isn't a minor leaguer who can match his ability to hit for average and power. He started slowly this year but rebounded to hit .351 with 14 homers in 44 games in the second half—as a 20-year-old in Triple-A. A career .314/.371/.511 who always has been extremely young relative to his competition, Montero has strength, bat speed and the ability to barrel balls seemingly at will.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, has more raw power than Montero but isn't as polished or pure a hitter.
I'm very excited to see how Montero fares in the upcoming swath of prospect rankings, and even more excited to see him in pinstripes ... perhaps as early as next spring.

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