Jesus Montero is a Venezuelan catcher born in November 1989. He is projected as being the future replacement to Jorge Posada, however some doubt he would be able to be an every day catcher due to defensive troubles. Montero will start the 2010 season as the every day catcher for Triple-A Scranton. This upcoming season Jesus Montero has very slim chances at playing in the major leagues until September callups begin. Jesus was signed in 2006 by the New York Yankees for $1.6 million. He had no position at the time, but with that good of a bat a position could be found. The Yankees chose catcher due to a thin amount of depth at the position at the time. The hype for Montero had already begun as he was already said to be the best player and having the most power out of any of the international signings that year.
One year after signing this contract Montero played for the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League hitting .280 with 3 home runs in 33 games in 2007. He helped to lead the team to a championship going 7-17 during the playoffs. Montero went on to play winter ball after the season and in 23 games hit .358 with 6 home runs. Before the 2008 season began Baseball America ranked Montero as the 6th best prospect in the Yankees minor league system, keep in mind this was a system which included Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Austin Jackson. The Yankees decided to present the 18 year old Montero with a full season in 2008, and Montero delivered as he lead the South Atlantic League with 171 hits, as well as placing in the top ten in runs scored, doubles, RBI's, and total bases as well as finishing 12th in HR's with 17. That year Montero would play in his first futures game along with fellow catching prospect Austin Romine. That year Montero split playing time behind the plate with Austin Romine, only catching in 71 of his 132 games played. After his excellent 2008 season Baseball America moved Jesus up as the 2nd best prospect in the Yankees system, as well as being listed as the 3rd best prospect in baseball in 2009. Montero moved up the ranks quickly in 2009 playing 48 games in High A Tampa before being promoted to Double-A Trenton. Still as a teenager in Tampa, Montero hit .356 with 8 HR's in 180 bats while sharing the same platoon role as the year before. After being placed in Double-A Montero hit .317 and was named to both the All Star Game and the Futures Game. His season was ended when he broke his middle finger on his glove hand in the beginning of August when catching. After the season ended Montero played in winter ball again, but was only able to play in 9 games.
Almost all scouts now name Montero as the organizations top prospect, as well as being called somewhere in the top 10 minor league prospects by almost all scouts. Jesus Montero is the Yankees biggest hitting prospect since Derek Jeter, and has more power than seen in a long time. There is reason to be excited as Montero has tremendous upside and projects to become a Home Run hitter with a batting average around .300. With Montero the bat is not a problem, as the only problem with Jesus is his ability to field as a catcher. Jesus could be moved to a corner outfield position in the future, but has slowly been improving every year in the minor leagues defensively as a catcher. Jesus Montero has huge upside and should become a major part of the Yankees for years to come. Check out this video of Jesus Montero working with Jorge Posada last year during spring training: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0sZ0Tg7koE