Here’s a name you don’t want to forget – Jesus Montero
If you haven't heard of Jesus Montero yet, don't forget the name. Montero is shooting up in value every single day.
The Yankees catching prospect is just 19 years old. He hails from Venezuela and has a bat that forces scouts to look his way. With Double-A Trenton, Montero is hitting .295 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 30 games (that's not counting the grand slam he hit on Saturday). He was promoted from Single-A Tampa where he hit .356 in 48 games.
Yankees fans already knew about Montero. At his first game in Trenton, fans came out to greet him.
“It was awesome for me," Montero said recently after a Thunder game. “There were a couple of people here. They were so happy. It meant a lot for them to do that for me. They were good fans and I'm really happy for them because they enjoy the game."
And, that's the part of Montero statistics won't show. Besides being a top hitter in the South Atlantic League, Montero is also friendly, funny and well liked in the clubhouse.
Montero says he reads all his fan mail and has been touched by many of the letters. The long bus rides are a good time to catch up on all the letter and requests the fans send him.
So, even though Montero is just a teenager, he already has a moment he calls the most important day of his life. Unlike many other prospects who tend to point to the day they signed a contract, Montero's day happened mid-season last year.
He played in the Future's Game at Yankee Stadium, the final season of the storied building.
“I used to tell my dad all the time that he's going to see me (playing baseball) on TV," Montero said. “He got to see me in the Future's Game last year. It was so great. It was amazing because my family was there."
Montero has made a name for himself in Baseball America as well. He rocketed to the third in the latest top 100 list. However, Montero knows there is work to be done.
“I don't focus too much on hitting. I'm working on a lot of catching drills," Montero said. “Right now, I just think about catching, catching, catching."
Montero has several prospects cards on the market, including an autographed, game-used 2008 Bowman Sterling. The refractors of this card go for big bucks. His first Bowman card appeared in 2008.