Let’s start with Montero, who threw 44 big league innings in 2014. Kiley McDaniel ranked Montero as the Mets 8th best prospect, and placed him in the honorable mentions section of his top 200 list. Montero’s first taste of big league action was pretty forgettable, but KATOH really liked what he did in the minors last year. Most notably, he struck out an impressive 24% of opposing batters. This, along with his non-terrible 10% walk rate earned him a projection of 5.3 WAR through age-28: The 11th highest among pitchers with at least 200 batters faced last year.
Montero didn’t start receiving prospect love until the last year or so, but his numbers — particularly his strikeout totals — speak for themselves. Now that he’s proven himself in over a year’s worth of starts in Triple-A, he’s a good bet to succeed in the big leagues as well. Montero will play a role with the 2015 Mets, but it remains to be seen if it will be as a starter or a reliever. Both Kiley’s 50 FV grade and KATOH’s forecast agree that he could be a starter long-term, but the Mets embarrassment of starting pitching riches might push him to the bullpen for now.
There is no question that Montero will pitch, in some role, in Queens this year.
Frankly, I think he will start off in the pen and eventually replace someone in the rotation before the all-star break that either goes on the disabled list, or simply isn't pitching well.
Still, his time has been limited this spring, though he did finally get some bound time on Thursday.