He was the “big return” in the deal which sent Michael Pineda to the New York Yankees, but Jesus Montero has “no expectations” for the 2014 if you listen to Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik. This, and much more, is noted in an article from yesterday by Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times.
Hard to imagine a guy that in three consecutive seasons appeared in Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list. And for all three of those years, Montero was rated no lower than at #6 (pre-2012). My how times have changed.
Divish cites that at the end of a season, all the players meet with trainers and medical staff in regards to each player’s offseason regimen. Among those matters discussed is a target weight that the team would like the player to be when he reports for the spring. Montero didn’t quite make that target weight. In fact, as Divish divulges, Montero reported some 40 pounds over that target weight. And Divish says Montero has never came to spring at the target weight.
During winter ball, Montero posted 86 at-bats, second on his team from the catching position. Those ABs came in 22 games. Who had the most? That would be Anderson De La Rosa, now property of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. De La Rosa has never had a single plate appearance in a MLB game. That should tell you a little something.
Yes, there was an injury involved, as well teh Montero’s mention (and subsequent suspension) from the Biogenesis scandal. Montero tells Divish that weighted on his mind over the offseason.
And there’s a reason the M’s wanted Montero to be lighter. He’s in the middle of a defensive transition from catcher to first base.
Montero attempts to justify his weight.
I feel comfortable with my weight,” he said. “But they want me to lose some weight. Whatever they want. I’m here for the opportunity.
Opportunity? How about the growing rumblings calling your work ethic into consideration here, Jesus? It’s not just your club’s GM. New skipper Lloyd McClendon also has a comment or two within Divish’s article regarding your situation.
Maybe the most notable quote from the entire article isn’t the numerous one-liners Zduriencik provides – and there are more than a few. It’s this:
“I’m not counting on him,” Zduriencik said. “I’m not expecting anything. Whatever he does, he’s got to get our attention that’s how I’m looking at it. We haven’t discarded him at all. But he’s got to prove it us. We’ve got players here that want to be big league players and want to be big league players for a long time, in his case, he’s still got that to prove yet. And I don’t think he’s done that. He hasn’t taken that next step where he’s got everyone’s attention. He can because the ability is there to do that.”
And if not? [as asked by Divish as if he posed this to Jack Z.]
“In the end, it’s Jesus’ life,” Zduriencik said. “It’s Jesus who has to make a call on this. We’ll be there to assist any of these players him included. But he will not [be] given anything. It’s an uphill climb for him. He has the ability to get over the hump and he should. But if he doesn’t, then shame on Jesus.”
So it’s all on you, Jesus Montero. And listening to the way your GM describes your situation, not much can be expected from you, one of baseball’s once most promising prospects.