Get to know Jesus Montero
One of the top ranked prospects in baseball, Jesus Montero burst onto the scene with the Yankees in 2011. Get to know the catcher with these facts.
Compiled by Bobby Bonett
Born in Guacara, Venezuela, Montero is one of more than 200 players to make the majors from his home country. He signed with the Yankees as a 16-year-old, and was ranked the No. 38 prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2009 season, No. 4 prior to the 2010 season, and No. 3 prior to the 2011 season.
Montero told the publication Metro that the reason he started catching was to increase his chances of making it to the majors. He said he started catching four years prior to being signed in 2006.
In several interviews, Montero has mentioned the Mets, Mariners, Rangers, Indians and Red Sox all as suitors from when he was in Venezuela.
Montero is one of a trio of catchers in his family. His mother was the catcher for the Venezuelan national softball team, and his younger brother, also named Jesus, is a catcher in the Cardinals’ organization.
In 2008, Montero was invited to spring training as a non-roster invite. He homered in his only at-bat before getting sent to Class A Charleston.
Montero was taken to the hospital during a game for Class AA Trenton in 2009. Lance Pendleton, pitching for Trenton, and Montero were mixed up on a sign, according to manager Tony Franklin, and Montero broke his finger.
Scranton hitting coach Butch Wynegar told the New York Times that Montero was “bothered” by the rumors that he was on the traiding block in exchange for pitching — specifically Cliff Lee — at the 2010 deadline.
Montero’s first curtain call at Yankee Stadium came after his first big-league homer, a shot to the right-field seats in the fifth inning on Sept. 5, 2011. His second curtain call came came two innings later on another home run to the same part of the ballpark.
The biggest knock on Montero is his defense. His subpar throwing mechanics (he threw out less than one-quarter of base stealers in the minors) have been attributed to his size. He is atypically tall for a catcher at 6-3, and weighs 235 lbs.