Jesus Montero Scouting Report - Peoria
Forever Young, dept.


Yang, dept.

OKDan, an excellent poster, gives us a fun report from onsite:

I just cannot foresee any situation in which Montero makes this team, regardless of his xbh's. Been down here in peoria for a few days, and his lack of interest in the game of baseball is palpable. Watched him take grounded on a side field, where he bobbled or straight up missed 30-40% of them. Then watched him stand in the back row during some group calisthenics, and he was barely even trying. Half-heartedly bending over while everyone else was going gull tilt.

During the game, the crowd over by 1st was letting him have it all night. Might have been cubs fans though. He dropped a foul popup, botched a grounder, and nearly took his foot off the base on the 8th out. The next inning, I watched as all 3 other infielders stood out in the field waiting to do their warmups, while Montero was the last one out there, and they had to cut it short before the leadoff AB.

I dunno. Could be that I caught him at his worst moments, and am ascribing motivations where there aren't any. But from my perspective, the guy doesn't give a rip about the game, and it's obvious to the manager and the players on the field with him. If anyone else gets passed over in favor of Montero, I don't think it will go over well in the clubhouse.

- See more at:


Thanks Dan!  Keep da onsite reports comin' my man.

And DaddyO seconds this emotion.  :- )  He points out that "head cases are rarely worth their contribution."  If that's what Montero is -- a Manny Ramirez type before he's ever done anything -- then there does come a point where you can cheerfully wash your hands of him, and never worry about what he does anywhere else. 

Just as a f'r instance, we recall Bill James (a Royals fan) write up a long analysis showing that Danny Tartabull was (at the time) the #3 right hand hitter in the American League.  He finished with a short paragraph:  Who Needs Him.


After Dr. D put up his recommendation of Jesus Montero for the 25-man roster, Mojician came thundering down Sixth Avenue with a cross-examination that was all but impossible to resist.  The Cliffs' Notes:  Montero is comparable to a bond rated at "Default" trustworthiness.  I loooov eet :- ) 


Yin, dept.

The Mariners themselves seem to be wavering a bit, regarding Montero's ticket to the Gulag Archipelago.  Their TV announcers are now complimenting him about losing a ton of weight, and if the announcers are saying that, it's because the shot-callers are in the same mood about Montero.

Montero is in the games, he's even playing 1B, and when he butchers it, McClendon is making excuses for him.  When McClendon says "he was horsefeathers this week, but he looks good now" that's not the kind of remark you make about the kid you're about to cut from the traveling squad.


So, what's going on with the half-ars'ed calisthenics?  Montero isn't the first ballplayer ever to "hang his head" over a rap on the knuckles.  MLB org's see this a lot; sometimes they push through it and sometimes they don't.  "Sometimes they do" tends to coincide with a player you paid Michael Pineda to get.


Dr's Prognosis

OKDan's report from Peoria is compelling.  Montero's lack of desire is disruptive, as it is with lots of Cuban players, for example.  His talent is also disruptive, to enemy pitching, that is.

Montero's annoying, but ... would you rather have Delmon Young?  Tampa Bay and Minnesota waited out 3-and-a-half years of fulltime play, at VERY little production, trying to get at the superstar they thought was underneath.  They finally did get a 124 OPS+ in year 4, and now teams have spent 3 more years trying to get anything other than a sewage sandwich.  No luck so far.

Vicente Padilla was at constant risk for death by alcohol, death by self-inflicted gunshot, or both at the same time, or in either order.  Chase Utley was ranked #2 in Sports Illustrated's "meanest" players in baseball -- by his own teammates, LOL.  

Miguel Cabrera was asked to leave a bar a year or two ago and calmly informed the bartender (not Wilhelmsen to Dr. D's knowledge), "You don't know me.  I will kill you.  I know you, all of you, and I will kill every one of you.  I will blow this place up."  A.J. Pierzynski lasted one year with the Giants before he was unanimously voted off the island.  

Do we even need to get into the Milton Bradleys, Carlos Zambranos and Carl Everetts here?  :- ) 

You and I look at Montero and see a lost cause; the Mariners (presumably) look at him and see a "high-maintenance player."  When it gets to the point to where your maintenance blots out your talent, it's time for a change of scenery.

How close are we to that?  I ain't in the locker room, but hey.  You're lazy and we don't like you.  Then you better hit, Bub.

My $0.02,






Love it. And he needs to hit even MORE than he would otherwise need to hit to make up for his defense during whatever PT he gets at first base. So hit MORE because of your attitude and lack of devotion to your craft, and hit even MORE because you're a butcher in the field. And add a little bit more for running like an inchworm. Then, and only then, are you providing enough to earn your keep.
Have at it, big boy. You wanna be a baseball player or a chump?
Manny did it. to be sure, and there've been a few others. But even Manny had a joy in playing the game that was obvious, and of course, he hit so doggone good that ANY deficiencies were swallowed up by his swat.


Doc, I've long been with you on Montero. Still am on exactly the points you bring up.
The dude has one quite valuable skill. He rakes/bakes/mashes/smashes LHP. That's worth something, in and of itself. Good thing, because he hasn't really shown any other skill, whatsoever. He doesn't hit RHP at all, for example. Even counting last year's debacle, his career OPS vL is .828; vR it is .632. Basically when he faces RHP he becomes Brendan Ryan, with a bit more pop but without any base running ability at all. Yikes.
And he is the 2nd coming of Dr. Strangeglove when in the field. He makes Dave Kingman look like some sort of Garvey.
There's lots he can't do. But he's pretty special at what he can do.
It seems to me that the real issue is that if the M's don't surround him with guys that are flexible and complementary then what he does do gets lost in what he can't do. If you don't surround Brendan Ryan with a few bats, then you've exceeded critical mass and the offense implodes.
Ideally, you would find a DH platoon for him, some guy who hits RHP AND can wear a glove with some ability. But that would mean you have to have a darn flexible OF. Hart? You have to bet that he stays healthy and can get a bunch of RF starts. That's a long bet.. And then you have to have a 4th OF who can play the IF, too. A Romero, for example. But now you've only got two OF spots left and both have to be able to play CF.
Keeping a Montero means that you have some careful roster structuring to do, too. And here I can't say that Z has shown much ability. He's built rosters without that kind of flexibility. Bloomquist is step in the right direction, but we need to keep a Romero or Franklin, too.
So, keep Montero, but don't surround him with one position guys.
And (changing topics) let's please make sure we follow the Doc Doctrine and end up with the best player in the Franklin swap. BTW, that's why I agree with OBF and have suggested for quite a while that Seager is our guy to trade. Seager (a proven quantity) + a nice piece is more likely to bring us back the big package, I think......if we're going for the RF RH bat.

okdan's picture

Wow! If I'd have known my little comment would get the front page treatment, I'd have fixed the typos :P
In all seriousness, I don't mean to extrapolate too much out of a few glimpses. I am with you completely on what Montero has to do from here. Despite his struggles so far, they are giving him the reps. He was out there again today after the 4th. Perhaps it's to put some "hey, we've got other options" leverage on Morales and his agent. If the kid continues to rake, they'll find a spot.
Anyhow. Thanks for the exposure and props, Doc!

okdan's picture

Sure thing! I will try and put together some thoughts from my last couple days down there. But sadly, as of last night I am back in snowy and cold Chicago...


Trade Morrison and Franklin in a package for a really nice arm and sign Morales. Open the season with:
vR: CF) Almonte/Saunders, SS) Miller, 2B) Cano, RF) Hart, DH) Morales, 3B) Seager, 1B) Smoak, LF) Ackley, C) Zunino/Buck
vL: CF) Almonte, RF/SS) Bloomquist, 2B) Cano, DH) Hart, 1B) Montero, C) Zunino/Buck, 3B) Seager, ( SS) Miller OR RF) Saunders), LF) Ackley/Saunders
You carry Buck/Zunino/Smoak/Montero/Cano/Bloomquist/Miller/Seager/Hart/Saunders/Almonte/Ackley/Morales - there's your 13...and that team can hit both sides of the plate.

M-Pops's picture

MLBTR has the M's still in contact with Morales. Pay the man and bask in your legit lineup for the next three seasons. Z could even stash both Franllin and Morrison in Tacoma as injury insurance.


Stability for our lineup. Hart, LoMo, Smoak, Ackley, Saunders, CF, Zunino..... Too many question marks. Similar production from most of them this year as last year and we're going backwards with loss of Morales and Ibanez bats.

GLS's picture

I love Kyle Seager. He's my favorite player. But add me as a co-signer on this proposition. Seager + Marlette + something else should get you something real good in return.

M's Watcher's picture

Morales is a legit MOTO bat on the cheap. How much more will another cost? Sign him. LogMor is only potentially a passable 1B/DH bat, and I'd be fine with him in Tacoma or a trade piece to a team that needs a 1B. Package him with Franklin for something useful now in return.

muddyfrogwater's picture

I'll go against the grain on this one, and say I don't see any reason why Montero couldn't get some starts behind the dish in Tacoma. I think it was a mistake to have him completely abandon the catcher position in the first place. We're sitting on quite a few forgotten about catchers right now anyhow. Who would Montero be competing with for playing time? Sucre or Baron or the likes? Win loose or draw, Zunino will likely get an extended look because of his pedigree. It maximizes Montero's value without making sacrifices. Even if he's never anything more than just a back up catcher.

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