Mack - 2015 Prospect List - #9 – RHSP – Rafael Montero


My rankings is solely subjective and based on nothing more than what is in my head at time I’m writing this. I’ve followed the Mets minor league players for many years and I feel I can recognize talent at various levels of their development. What I have failed at is how to determine when this talent seems to diminish. It’s amazing how many first round picks never make it in this game.

I’m old school, so you won’t seem much SABR-discussion here, I do research and, when I find a good quote or two, I’ll add them to my analysis, but, like I said in the beginning of this post, most of this us subjective.

Let’s get started.

#9 – RHSP – Rafael Montero – 24-years old – 6-0, 185 – R/R

                       International free agent 2011 – Dominican Republic

                       2011 – 4 teams  17-G, 12-starts, 2.15, 0.96, 71-IP, 66-K

                       2012 –  St. L/Sav – 20-starts, 2.36, 0.94, 71.1-IP, 66-K

                       2013 –  B-Mets/Vegas – 27-starts, 2.78, 1.10, 155.1-IP, 150-K

                       2014 – 3 teams –  18 starts, 3.45, 1.27, 86-IP, 87-K

                       2014 – Mets -  10-G, 8-starts, 4.06, 1.51, 44.1-IP, 42-K

We sort of take Montero for granted. He seems have been around for ages and he’s very often forgotten when writers talk about all the great young pitching in this organization.

What we tend to forget is Montero has, in four minor league seasons, a 1.07 WHIP in 434.1 innings.

He really hasn’t had a bad season and he’s held his own in Vegas (2013: 3.50… 2014: 3,60… total of 32 AAA starts) more than all the other so-called starter prospects in the system can say.

This is Montero’s last year on the prospect list because he will turn 25 next October.

Outlook –

Actually, I can’t see the Mets clearing enough slots for Montero to start in Queens this year. It would take two of Colon, Gee, and Niese to disappear and I just don’t see that happening. One, yes, but not two.

The Mets then have to decide if they return him to Vegas and wait for the phone to ring when someone gets hurt.

You know my position on this… make him the ‘long man’ reliever that would better fit the team. Remember, Syndergaard and Matz are right around the corner and I can’t imagine a more talented 3-man combo than Montero, Familia, and Mejia (add in Parnell when he gets back).


Thomas Brennan said...

I agree he needs to be on the opening day team, Mack, even in the pen. I did not even rank him as a prospect, as his 44 innings last year with the Mets are the equivalent of 6 or 7 starts - as far as I am concerned, were it not for the logjam, he'd be a lock to start for this team. I won't penalize him because of the logjam.

Stephen Guilbert said...

It bums me out a bit that Montero is looking at a bullpen spot and has fallen this far in prospect rankings. I still love his command. I just don't see if from a prospect that often. Forget his cup of coffee in the bigs. A lot of prospects struggle their first time as well and there's suspicion he was nervous, pitching hurt, or both. He's a damn good arm. I'm still hoping there's some combination of trades and injuries to let this guy show what he can do. I've called his ceiling comp as Cueto and I stand behind it. Cueto's going to get well over 100 million in free agency next year.

Mack Ade said...

This is obviously the last year I will list Montero as a 'prospect'.

He'll be on some parent team roster by the end of 2015 and I expect him to be doing very well, regarding of what his role will be.

Charles said...

Seeing Montero's secondary stuff a few times, I just don't see the Ceuto comp as easily as you do Stephen. I like Montero but think, like Mack, that he should be part of a kick ass bullpen.

Plenty of young arms got their start in the pen to gain valuable experience. Wainwright is the most obvious sample, Pedro another. His command is the exact reason for it. Let him learn how to get big leaguers out in the pen and then at some point, he can maybe step into a rotational slot or stay right where he is.

Anonymous said...

I really expect to see the Mets bullpen struggle this season -- since I see the group as a whole as being young, inexperienced, and with a long history of injuries. If Familia & Mejia are fully healthy, that would be huge, of course. The news on Parnell does not encourage me; Black is shaky, and Edgin simply hasn't pitched an entire ML season with any consistent effectness. For those reasons, I believe that Montero could be a key in 2015. Sandy has not done anything to strengthen the pen, or to add veteran stability. When things start to fray along the edges, the Mets are going to have to look at Montero and guys like Mazzoni to step into the void. I know that the pen is generally considered a strength of the team -- and there's no denying the talent -- but I anticipate some real rough patches with injuries and inexperience. The Mets will need Montero in 2015; I don't know if he's ready for that role, yet.

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi James

I see Mejia and Familia as being 100%. Just a hernia repair. All now have experience. Add Montero to pen and it will be very solid from day 1, with or without Parnell. Maybe not lights out, but very solid.

Anonymous said...

I hope so, Thomas. They both have had serious arm injuries in the past, and seemed a tad gassed -- hanging on by a thread -- at the end of last season.

Terry scratching his chin, yammering about hopefully somehow getting these guys a rest at some point down the line . . . then going to them again that night. I just have no faith in that guy, especially coming into the "must-win" season.


Thomas Brennan said...

Good point, JP. Hopefully arms come in fresh this spring. If they do have arm issues, cut Collins right then and there for overuse abuse. Those pitchers are key to 2015.

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