The Yankees' top prospect is heating up. His batting average and his on-base percentage are now at last season's levels, and his power is coming around. In his last thirteen games, Jesus Montero is 15-for-49 (.306) with a .370 OBP. He's also hit three homers and doubled four times. The young man is an offenseive machine, and scouts do not question the long-term potential of his bat.
But this isn't about his bat. We already know that his bat is dynamite. This is about his defense and those who think he will not be able to catch for the Yankees. Consider this from Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan, who cites a scout when discussing Montero's ability to throw runners out at second base:
Whether he’s a full-time DH or can manage as a catcher eventually depends on the pair of eyes watching him. One scout believes the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Montero can manage behind the plate. He clocked his pop time – throws from behind the plate to second base – at around 1.95 seconds, which is slightly above average, and believes Montero’s body is more thick than fat.
Forget about not sticking at catcher. We have a report coming from a scout that his time to second base is above average. The world must be ending.
So, he gets the ball to second base in above average time, but can he keep the ball in front of him?
Montero has made just two errors to go along with six passed balls. For comparison's sake, Russell Martin has been worse, with seven errors and five passed balls. Francisco Cervelli has allowed three passed balls and made five errors to go along with an abysmal 8% caught stealing rate (2-for-25) in limited playing time.
There is no doubt that Montero is the superior offensive catcher in my mind, but could he be an improvement defensively? The only way to find out is to call up Jesus Montero.