New York Mets prospect Rafael Montero is earning quite a bit of praise these days as camp progresses. Some people seem so focused on how problematic the outfield situation might be that they refuse to get excited over the team’s young pitching prospects. I see nothing wrong with a good bit of guarded optimism and while most fans were likely expected to have their heads turned by Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, I’m not sure many expected much from 22-year-old Rafael Montero when camp kicked off. That’s likely to change as the weeks pass because the Dominican Republic native has been the talk of camp.
Heyman mentioned specifically mentioned Montero in a couple recent articles for CBS, in both cases pointing to him as a reason for Mets fans to be optimistic about the future.
Then there’s the camp star so far, 22-year-old righthander Rafael Montero, who is described by one Mets person as looking “looking like Pedro, with thicker legs,” and who has been wowing them in Port St. Lucie. “Electric,” Wright called Montero.”
Montero compiled 110 strikeouts vs. 19 walks in 122 innings of A ball last year while recording a 2.36 ERA.
Heyman went as far as to group the youngster in with the Mets top pitching prospects, saying the Mets “quartet of young righthanded arms (Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero) is impressive indeed. But only Harvey will begin 2013 with the big club.” Michael Baron of Metsblog.com recently watched Montero in St. Lucie and had the following to say:
Montero’s stuff looks electrifying, but he’s still quite raw, which is to be expected at this stage of his development. He throws very hard, and his breaking pitch has very heavy movement down through the strike zone. He is very lanky, kind of like Pedro Martinez when he was younger.
Montero only made eight starts after being promoted to Single-A St. Lucie in 2012, and so I expect him to spend some more time there before heading up to Binghamton. He only just started to throw his breaking ball consistently, and he will need a little more command of that pitch before moving forward. But this is yet another exciting arm in the Mets’ system who could prove valuable, should he continue on this path…”
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