Mid-Season Dirty Thirty-Five: Prospect #5

Since this is the mid-season write-up, it's just a quick overview of the player. When we get to the preseason re ranking in the offseason, they'll be a lot more involved.


Stats are current as of 8/4/2019.


All write-ups were published during all-star week.

Prospect #5: 3B Elehuris Montero


Springfield Cardinals

Signed as an International Free Agent in August of 2014

Age 21 (On August 17th)



So far, 2019 has been a waste for Montero. He got off to a tough start at Springfield before getting hurt. Then, once he got off of the IL for the wrist injury, he basically went right back on it with a broken hamate.

Instead of gushing about my former #1 on the Dirty Thirty-Five, I'll sit here and pout about not being able to watch him adjust to, then destroy, the Texas League.

Montero was just starting to figure it out before his first IL stint, too. SUCH A SHAME.

NOW, Montero did get off to a brutal start at Springfield. That start had a lot of people worried. In his first six games, Montero went four for twenty-six with eleven strikeouts and no walks. If you expand the parameters an additional game, Montero struck out in 14 of his first 31 at-bats. And this was about the time that Montero really started to put it back together. The stats aren't over-whelming, but they show a positive direction. Over his last 12 games leading into the IL stint, Montero hit 255/327/447 with two home runs and three doubles over 52 plate appearances. He also only struck out 12 times in 52 plate appearances. He did this while taking five walks.

Sure, those numbers aren't great, and they're definitely a small sample size, but for a 20-year-old in the Texas League with some helium concerns, it was nice to see things headed in the correct direction. Trust me when I tell you that the at-bats were better. The contact was better. The approach was better.

Then came a 25-day IL stint. When Montero came off of the IL, he got off to a hot start, going 5-16 with two doubles and two home runs in four games. In his next three games, he went 0-8 with four strikeouts.

Then the diagnosis of a broken hamate, and a potential eight week recovery time period that started at the end of May. Hopefully, Montero will get the final month of the minor league season to show what he can do. I'll go ahead and call it right here: Montero will be in the Arizona Fall League. The Cardinals' will have a 40-man roster decision to make about him this off-season, too. So, he's definitely headed to the AFL.

Now, one of the concerns with Montero is his defense. As I've said in the past, he reminds me of what we saw out of Albert Pujols when Pujols made his major league debut at third. That's to say, he's going to make nearly all of the plays that are right to him, and he's going to come up with some stuff that you might not expect him to (especially coming in on the ball), but it's not going to be an above average third base at any point. Montero does have a strong arm, and that helps him make up for deficiencies elsewhere. I will say, that he look better at third during 2019 than he did during 2018.

Montero is a big boy with a big bat and big skills. If he had been healthy, I probably would have left him as the #1 prospect in the organization. However, I do have extra concerns with the nature of the two injuries that he's sustained, and I worry about how it might impact his future. I'm obviously being dramatic and over-reactionary/worried , too. Hopefully he gets healthy and reclaims that spot.


UPDATE:


Montero is off of the IL and is back in the Springfield lineup. He's shown a lot of aggressiveness at the plate, and he needs to tone it down a bit in order to get back to where he was trending before the IL stint. We are really anxious to see how the last month of the minor league season goes for this young man!


Thanks to Fangraph for the stats!


Thanks For Reading!!

Kyle Reis