Plainly said in the above title, Mets Minors was sparked by something J.P. Ricciardi said in an interview with Jim Duquette this past weekend:
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) July 13, 2013
Montero, fresh off a solid showing in the MLB Futures Game, has split time with both Double-A Binghamton and most recently, with Triple-A Las Vegas. Through 18 combined starts (99.2 innings pitched), the right-hander is 8-5 with a 3.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 101 strikeouts, and 20 walks.
Sandy Alderson has made it clear he’d like to make a trade for a proven outfield bat that is under team control for the foreseeable future. Whether that trade will be done this month or in the winter is yet to be determined, but I think Montero is one of the most attractive available player the Mets have to use in any conversation with a potential trade partner.
First off, I disagree with Ricciardi’s evaluation of Montero. While I don’t get paid the big bucks to evaluate players and their potential ceilings, I feel as though he could end up being a solid number two pitcher, if all the cards fall right. If that doesn’t work out, then yes, he would be a great number three in a big league rotation. His incredible control of the strike zone and his maturity on the mound at the age of 22 are both impressive. It’s taken him two years to rise from the DSL to Triple-A, and he’s without question, the organization’s most developed pitcher in the minor leagues.
At the end of the day, Ricciardi might be absolutely right about Montero. Once he gets to a big league rotation, he may settle in to being a team’s number four starter, and there’s nothing wrong with that. A solid back of the rotation is crucial to a team’s success. However, he shouldn’t have verbalized it publicly if the organization would soon be using him as a major part of any potential trade. For a team like the Rockies to give up Carlos Gonzalez or the Marlins to give up Giancarlo Stanton, they’re going to want another organization’s top prospects. Montero is a top prospect in New York’s system, but Ricciardi publicly stating that Montero could be a three if everything goes his way was not a smart move.
Thoughts From Satish R.
Well, that was dumb. Sorry to sound so blunt in contrast to Matt’s professional style above me, but really? This was such a bad move by Ricciardi. Montero is likely the odd man out of the future rotation when it all comes down to it, and it really felt like he unintentionally knocked down his own player’s trade value. My issue here is that this Mets front office has a habit of doing that instead of talking them up, but I’ll have to get over that.
I mentioned above that I think Montero might be the odd man out — and that’s because a rotation of Harvey/Wheeler/Niese/Syndergaard with a guy like Jeremy Hefner at the back end is pretty solid. Four out of five starters being near ace quality is pretty damn good and you can afford to trade a guy like Rafael Montero, who would bring back excellent value, in order to improve the offense at the same time. I really do believe in the prospects on the lower end like Gabriel Ynoa and Michael Fulmer, so we may have a serious surplus of talented pitching in the works here.
That being said, this makes it so much more crucial to make Montero look like a high-quality pitcher — as he has the highest likelihood of being a bust at the MLB level because of his pitching style. His natural “stuff” is a tick behind that of Wheeler and Syndergaard, even though he has better control. I love Montero’s pin-point control, but I do speculate that he will be the odd-man out, even if he could turn out to be a better pitcher than most give him credit for.