Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Imagine you're a 14-year-old aspiring catcher in a country that has produced only a select number of star major leaguers. Suddenly one of the top young catching talents in the major leagues is one of your countrymen. That player is almost guaranteed to have a major influence on your game, as appears to have been the case with Victor Martinez, the greatest Venezuelan catcher in major league history, and a teen-aged backstop named Jesus Montero.

One lasting impact of that influence appears to be Montero's batting stance. I don't have still photos of the two to post here, but try this: open the following videos in separate windows and pause each immediately after the video begins:

Victor Martinez's grand slam

Jesus Montero's two-RBI single

Martinez has hit .302/.370/.467 over his ten-year career using that stance from both the right and left sides. Montero is supposed to have more power, but the Yankees would be thrilled to get that sort of performance out of him along with the 800-plus games behind the dish that Martinez has played in his career.

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