Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Montero Wants to Catch - Now

Courtesy of CBS New York:
With Russell Martin projected to be New York’s primary catcher, top prospect Jesus Montero is ready to show the Yankees what he’s made of.

“I want to be behind the plate,” Montero said on Tuesday. “I want to show everybody that I can catch with the Yankees.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman wants to prepare Montero for the majors in a “proper way rather than in a rushed way.”

“I think being in the majors would be better,” Montero said about starting the season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. “Everybody wants to be there. I’m going to try to do the best to be with the team, learn real quick and help them.”

Montero, 21, has been working out at the Yankees’ minor-league complex since late January, and is noticeably slimmer than last year.

“I’m working really hard. I’ve spent more time here in the cage and doing catching things,” he said. “I want to be with the team this year. I want to help them to win, too. I’m working really hard here.”

The prospect had a good 2010 season at the plate, slugging 21 homers while maintaining a .289 batting average for Scranton.

“I did a good job last year, thank God,” said Montero. “I’ve got to work harder this year to show them that I can catch.”

Montero, often a chip in trade rumors involving the Yankees, wants to stick with the big club.

“I want to be with the Yankees,” he said.

“I want to stay with the Yankees my whole career.”
This is nothing but encouraging. Montero is displaying a tremendous work ethic and confidence, as well as saying the right thing - taken in conjunction with his considerable talent, I'm not sure that I could ask for much more. If it comes down to riding the pine in New York or catching everyday in Scranton, I'd much rather see Montero in the minors as there simply isn't much to gain sitting on the bench ... though I suppose working with Pena and Girardi couldn't hurt. Regular repetitions, in my mind, would be much more valuable to Montero than any sort of sage advice.

Regardless, this article has done nothing but increase my anticipation for Montero's Major League debut.

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