Prospect Report: Rafael Montero shines in spring training debut

It’s finally baseball time and it feels so good to be watching Met baseball again.  For those paying attention there was a lot to be excited about in game one.  Let’s focus on the prospects trying to make their mark during spring training.

Rafael MonteroRafael Montero – He got the start and looked great.  The results were all there and you could see why he was getting them.  His fastball was sitting in the low 90s and he avoided the middle of the zone.  He is a pitcher who is always confident in his ability to throw strikes, which goes a long way to him being a major league starting pitcher.  What impressed me most was the changeup.  It comes across the plate in the mid 80s and has some nice sinking motion.  His third pitch looks like a slider to me and it was effective at keeping hitters off the fastball.  He was efficient on the mound as well, only tossing 24 pitches through his two perfect innings.

Jacob deGrom – Picking up for Montero in the 3rd inning, deGrom was brilliant as well.  His fastball is harder than Montero’s but was falling well short of the 95-97 MPH that his scouting report has claimed.  Instead, he was sitting comfortably around 94 MPH with his pair of fastballs.  He throws a fastball with sink and without sink and what makes it an interesting combo is that they are both at the same velocity.  His secondary pitch is a slider that he could throw for strikes.  He needs another reliable breaking pitch to make it as a starter, but he can certainly have a future as a reliever as he is.

Both Montero and deGrom have deliveries that look like they can be workhorses.

Juan Lagares – Lagares’ day on paper looks great, but there were a couple things that I didn’t like.  He swings at almost anything near the strikezone.  His first at bat might have been a walk if he could have kept the bat on his shoulder and his second at bat was a single off a pitch well outside of the strike zone.  The third at bat, however, was quite good.  He seemed to recognize pitches better and went with the pitch to knock one deep to right.  Stephen Souza should have been able to track the fly ball down but I would have been more pleased with that at bat even without the results.

Travis d’Arnaud – It seems to me that d’Arnaud is not yet comfortable with the spotlight at this level.  He pulled a solid double down the left field line.  I think that d’Arnaud needs to calm down at the plate a little bit at the plate but the swing and the strength are there.

Wilmer Flores – If you saw the game you might have noticed that Flores looks very different than he’s ever looked before.  The game might have showed us that trying the new trimmer Flores at shortstop will likely still not work out.  He failed to pick a routine groundball cleanly that would have been a double play and led to the first run being scored.  He made up for it by making a jumping stop on a high chopper but this was all at second base.

Cesar Puello – Puello came into the game for Chris Young and in his first at bat pulled a double down the left field line.  He could be up in the majors sooner than later.  He later made a throw from right where he displayed a powerful throwing arm, unfortunately he overthrew Anthony Recker and Adam Kolarek didn’t back the catcher up.  It’s nice to see the raw talent, we will enjoy watching him start the season in Las Vegas.

It was a good day for Met prospects.  Let’s hope for many many more.

5 comments for “Prospect Report: Rafael Montero shines in spring training debut

  1. March 1, 2014 at 8:45 am

    As President of the Rafael Montero fan club, I have to say yesterday’s performance was wonderful. I’m going to use a quote from David but I want to make it crystal clear that the remark that follows is not in any way, shape or form directed at David.

    “Both Montero and deGrom have deliveries that look like they can be workhorses.”

    My one wish is that people immediately stop talking about Montero’s future being in the bullpen. He’s a SP and he’s going to be a good one.

  2. blastingzone
    March 1, 2014 at 9:57 am

    All I hear is Dice K and Mejia are competing for the 5th starting spot but you never hear Montero’s name but hopefully after yesterday we will? Mejia, Dice K, Montero, and Degrom should all be competing for the 5th spot! Montero and Degrom have more talent and are our future not Dice K but at 24 Mejia also is our future but can he stay healthy? Let all of them compete for the 5th spot and let the best pitcher win!! I would include Syndergaard in this group but knowing the mets with the super 2’s whats the point! Doesn’t Montero and Degrom come under the super 2’s as well?

  3. Jim OMalley
    March 1, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Both Montero and deGrom looked very good. I thought d’Arnaud’s attempt to get the runner moving to third on the wild pitch showed some moxy too.

  4. Chris F
    March 1, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Montero just has a delivery that seems like it can’t be real. It’s so soft, and just hard to believe. In any event he’s made a great impression. I agree Flores is not a middle infielder.

  5. Jim OMalley
    March 1, 2014 at 11:06 am

    And the comment from Darling about Montero reminding him of Ramon Martinez was 100% accurate. As soon as he said it, I was absolutely in total agreement.

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