ESPN: Montero could be key for Mets in 2014

montero (2)

The buzz regarding highly touted pitching prospect Rafael Montero making his major league debut this season continues to build.

Several prognosticators have ticketed the Mets to finish with a similar record from last year (74-88) as they continue their rebuilding project and wait for the return of Matt Harvey from Tommy John surgery. On the other hand, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York devised a scenario in which the Mets flip their record to 88-74. One of the key points in his “ambitious outlook” is a contribution from Montero at the big-league level.

Montero, who earned his first taste of Double-A and Triple-A last season, has been rumored to be a candidate for the last spot in the starting rotation on Opening Day or could be a mid-season addition. His name has also surfaced as part of the mix for the bullpen, though, that seems unlikely after he finished 12-7 with a 2.78 and 1.10 WHIP in 27 starts between Binghamton and Las Vegas last year.

According to Rubin, if Montero “pitches 150 really good innings in the major leagues” he could possibly eclipse double-digits in wins with an ERA around 3.00 — marks that could make him a Rookie of the Year candidate. The Dominican native would likely face an innings limit, as he has compiled more 150 innings only once in his career (he threw 155 1/3 innings last season).

Viewed as the Mets’ second-best pitching prospect behind only Noah Syndergaard by, the crafty right-hander also owns a 4.87 K/BB rate for his career and has surrendered just 16 homers in 64 total appearances in the minors (59 starts). His rising potential has made him a valuable commodity in the organization’s restocked farm system, an area that was evident in the offseason when general manager Sandy Alderson reportedly balked at trade offers that included the 23-year-old.

The Mets are expected to have several players vying for the No. 5 spot in spring training, including Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lannan and Jenrry Mejia. The remainder of the rotation is occupied by Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee.

bleed orange & blue  button

  • Just_Da_damaja

    totally off topic…

    but imagine if we had this guy and wally as coaches/managers of the team

  • Alex68

    Again, there’s something about this guy that scouts nor computers can decipher. the will to win and be great is not something one can predict nor “evaluate”. while we have a very good starting rotation, having this guy go out there every 5th day will give us a better opp to win games. montero could truly be the key for us and the difference between being 76-80 win team and a 85-90 win team.
    this kid deserves a chance, he’s dominated the minors and he’s got nothing else to prove, sometimes outthinking yourself gets you in trouble and the mets have done that with TDA and even Harvey 2 years ago. bring this kid up from day 1 and let’s see what he can do for us, which i believe will be great things..

  • Just_Da_damaja

    forward to the 44 sec mark

  • oleosmirf

    A year of control is far more important than 4 April starts especially if Montero turns out to be as good as you think he will. The amount of money the Mets would save would be 10+ million.

    Even if he is the best pitcher in camp, there is absolutely no justification for Montero being called up until the very end of April.

  • I hope this guy makes the 5th starter spot from day one. Maybe a bunch of other knuckleheads will pay attention and start throwing strikes.

  • Vin

    He may very well pitch beyond his stuff and be a very effective MLB pitcher but, this year, Meja is the young guy that should (if any do) come out of ST with a rotation spot. Have to think one of those 2 guys will be traded this year or next offseason, and Meja has the stuff + the MLB experience to start the year in the bigs while Montero gets better in AAA.

  • jack

    Much rather see syndergaard won the job

  • calamityfrancis

    you want managers that punch umpires?

  • Sylow59

    A 5 to 10 win differential is roughly replacing your #4/5 starter with the likes of John Smooth. Are you really saying that?

  • SRT

    I believe in Montero but I’m with you – that 5th spot out of ST should be Mejia’s to lose. Kid has incredible stuff, if he can just stay healthy.

    I’m sure Montero will be along shortly after.

  • Sylow59

    We would be the biggest laughing stock of MLB and lead the league in suspensions.

  • ro7a

    I am not sold on Montero. He was the piece that could be moved to bring in a slugger IMO. His pinpoint control sells, but I am not sold on his fastball being major league quality. Granted I havent seen him a lot but from what I saw, his fastball was the concern.

  • oleosmirf

    Offerman is essentially banned from the US, so it couldn’t happen anyway.

  • This kid is going to be a gem!! Lets enjoy this one! He’s so Pedro-esque! We are in such a great position with our pitching that it’s unbelievable. No other system in baseball has what we have at this very moment and it’s just amazing! We’ve suffered for too long to not get rewarded for it! Let just all sit back and enjoy our team starting this season because we have some amazing days and years ahead of us!!
    LETS GO METS!!!!

  • Well played sir! Well played!

  • Alex68

    Who’s john smooth?

  • Just_Da_damaja

    I want entertainment !!!

    sandy said bringing in the fences in 2012 would lead to a more “entertaining product”

    so far, thats been false

  • Sylow59

    Smoltz. Damn autocorrect

  • DrDooby

    Montero will get his chance eventually – after April 21st in all likelihood, so the Mets gain an extra year of service time. While Jennry Mejia deserves the first shot, usually injuries or ineffectiveness lead to further needs.

  • CThomp519

    Pedro without the plus curveball and plus plus changed up and the high 90’s heat….

  • Just_Da_damaja

    if Montero is good as advertised, we shouldnt wait til year 5 to extend him, he would be extended before he hits arbitration.

    the longer u wait, the more of a risk they take.
    the quicker u pull the trigger, the more of a risk you take.

    smart money would be to sign these young pitchers to contracts that take them to age 32 with options on their age 33/34 seasons.

    that way u are not paying 30 mil for a SP, 5 years from now.

  • Hodges14

    given the current ownership we’re in the running for the former now.

  • The kid has low to mid 90′ heat and has a hell of a change. He hits corners like no other and a lot of swing and misses. Also has a pretty good deuce. I was also talking about his build and the way he approaches hitters, at least so far in his pro career the kid has been fierce. If that’s gonna change, i dont know. But he can pitch! that’s all that matters.

  • Martin

    John smooth is my favorite player

  • Alex68

    Lmao, got you… i am not comparing WAR and all that crap people do.. i am saying he could be a good pitcher for us.. that’s what i care about..

  • RyanF55

    I am so excited about these young pitchers…Montero, Wheeler, Syndergaard this year? Can’t wait to see these guys in the big leagues. Montero seems real hungry too and is confident…it seems like they push each other and you can’t ask for anything better.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    we currently have a COO for a joke, and a GM who constantly makes fun of his own team’s shortcomings.

    so long as the wilpons remain owners we will be in a never ending public relations nightmare, esp in this town, where negativity sells.

    the wilpons belong in Tampa, a town that doesnt care for baseball…

    and the owners and GM of the Rays should come up here…

    its sad that their fan base is as apathetic as our front office.

  • oleosmirf

    so watch UFC. Offerman is a joke and a criminal and has no business being involved in MLB.

  • Sylow59

    You said he would improce the Mets by between 5 and 10 games. Your #5 pitcher gets about 8-10 wins (think Tim Redding’s good years). Adding 5 wins you get 13-15, adding 10 gets you to 18-20 WINS. That’s pretty much John Smoltz.

  • agetting

    you’re not going be able to lock a guy up until 33-34 years old though…they might take a 4 year deal

  • ro7a

    your focusing on the wrong aspect of his fastball.

  • agetting

    was watching the sh*t river runs through it the other day…phenomenal ep

  • agetting

    you’re not getting a slugger for Montero in a package…it was never going to happen. That’s why it never happened

  • agetting

    what are you trying to say? if anything, Montero’s command is exceptional. What aspect are you focusing on?

  • Just_Da_damaja

    yes you can.
    If u offered wheeler a 6 year deal for 24 mil with 3 separate one year team options for 20 mil a piece, he’d take it.

    that could be a 9 year 104 mil deal or a 6 year 24 mil deal.

    6 years from now, 20 mil a year will be a bargain for an ace pitcher.

    wheeler would be risking the sure money of 4 mil a year for the next 6 years vs making 500K for the next 3 years, and not seeing any significant money for the next 4.

    Wheeler would be 33, 9 years from now.

    you would also substantially increase their trade value.

    Wheeler/Harvey/Gee/Niese as team controlled aces would command ALOT more

  • mets4lyfe

    Montero’s ultimate ceiling is still up in the air because of the lack of a consistent breaking pitch. The thing is, he’ll have days where his slider is a well-above average pitch, but then he’ll have days where his slider doesn’t even look like a ML offering. However, if he develops a quality slider, his ceiling is a pitcher whose ERA will be consistently in the 3.1 – 3.4 range, which is a really good pitcher.

  • mets4lyfe

    The curveball is Montero’s 4th pitch. Right now, his main secondary offerings (slider and changeup) project to be ML average pitches, nothing special.

  • Barring injuries or gross ineffectiveness, I don’t see Montero pitching until May at the earliest. Now there is a chance Montero outpitches Mejia, Lannan, Matsuzaka, and deGrom by such a large margin that he earns the spot out of camp…but most likely he will have to bide his time until those four guys ahead of him all get a shot.

  • ro7a

    his command is exceptional and he has a plus changeup. His fastball is straight as an arrow which you can get away with at 95-98, but not 91-92. I think his future may be as a reliever where maybe he can ramp up the velocity some in smaller windows.