Before there was John Ryan Murphy, Gary Sanchez, Luis Torrens and Miguel Flames (and after Dioner Navarro and Austin Romine), there was Jesus Montero.
Jesus, as many of you probably already know, was once a top flight prospect in the Yankees system. He was a catching prospect who projected to mash everything thrown his way. His defense was always questionable but his power potential and all around hitting prowess made many scouts and talent evaluators think his hitting could make up for whatever he lacked defensively. Once a top 10 prospect in all of baseball, he was traded from the Yankees to the Mariners when his value couldn't have possibly been any bigger. From there the wheels quickly fell off and now he's back in triple-A as a member of the Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays affiliate).
As of this moment Montero has two career highlights to his name.
The first were these two home runs at Yankee Stadium. This was quite an exciting time where fans thought the future had finally arrived.
And the second was catching the Mariners' combined no-hitter. Jesus himself seems to have been proud of that no-hitter.
Even though Montero has the "bust" label attached to him, I don't think he's had too bad a career. No he didn't meet the lofty expectations many had for him, but he still made it to the big leagues and enjoyed some success there. At this point Montero's not much of a catcher anymore but it wouldn't surprise me if he became a late bloomer at first base or DH. Maybe some think he's done for, but I'd like to hold out hope that he can be a Kendrys Morales.
And if you're wondering who I think ultimately came out on top in the Montero-Pineda swap I'd say... it's still too early to tell. As of this point in time the Yankees have gotten more out of Pineda than the Mariners got out of Montero. Hector Noesi (who went to the M's from the Yanks) was terrible for the Mariners before being shipped off to places like Texas and Chicago (south side); Noesi is now pitching in Korea for the record. The one key factor left is Jose Campos. The pitching prospect the M's sent to New York along with Pineda. Tommy John surgery has slowed his progress but he's finally made it to double-A this year. His future and potential success/failure is probably what will determine whether this trade is a lackluster trade that the Yankees sort of won, or a slightly less lackluster trade that the Yankees kind of won. Oh screw it. That trade looks both good and bad on both sides and ultimately both teams weren't that much better off after making it.
Oh yeah, so that Bowman Chrome autograph above is the refractor numbered to 500.
This one is number 479. The thing that strikes me is that Jesus grew up a Red Sox fan, because of course he did.
I got this refractor autograph for under $10. At one point in time I'm sure these shiny scribbles would've cost some desperate soul up to three digits. You can still see remnants of people who invested in Montero try to hold out by selling their base autographs for over $20. Good luck to them but I don't see it really panning out. I mean once a player leaves a big market like New York for a tiny (by comparison) one like Seattle their value plummets. Just look at Cano's cards. Once upon on a time they were worth a lot, now they're worth a tad less because he doesn't have that Yankees premium anymore.
Oh and speaking of remnants, I still enjoy going back and reading about Night Owl and The Lost Collector's bet about whether Dodgers or Yankees catchers (at the time) could do better. This was when both bloggers were at their peak (just kidding, they're both still in their prime). TLC won the bet for the record, because the Yankees are apparently sworn to making N.O. miserable.
Anyway it was nice to add Montero to my collection. I used to have his certified autograph in the form of a 2008 Tri-Star Projections auto that I pulled myself but I sent that to The Lost Collector as part of our first trade (how time flies ey TLC?). It's all cool though, I've wanted his Bowman Chrome autograph anyway because #ChromeIsKing.
Now I have certified autographs of pretty much all of the key home-grown Yankees catchers throughout the years. Navarro, Romine, Montero, Murphy, Sanchez, Torrens and Cervelli. Now I guess I just have to wait for MIGUEL FLAMES! And the next great Yankees catching prospect who comes along afterwards (Donny Sands?).
Any thanks for stopping by and take care :).