Results tagged ‘ Jesus Montero ’
Earlier this week, MLB.com came out with their Top 100 prospects, with 5 Mariners on the list. Today, it was Baseball America’s turn to unveil their annual Top 10 Mariners Prospects via their website.
And look who is on the cover of this week’s edition of Baseball America, Taijuan Walker.
Here are the Mariners Top 10 Prospects, as well as the publications listing for the Best Mariners Tools:
- Jesus Montero, c
- Taijuan Walker, rhp
- Danny Hultzen, lhp
- James Paxton, lhp
- Nick Franklin, 2b/ss
- Francisco Martinez, 3b
- Chance Ruffin, rhp
- Tom Wilhelmsen, rhp
- Vinnie Catricala, 3b/1b/of
- Phillips Castillo, of
Best Hitter for Average – Jesus Montero
Best Power Hitter – Jesus Montero
Best Strike Zone Discipline – Vinnie Catricala
Fastest Baserunner – Jamal Austin
Best Athlete – Taijuan Walker
Best Fastball – Taijuan Walker
Best Curveball – James Paxton
Best Slider – Chance Ruffin
Best Changeup – Danny Hultzen
Best Control – Danny Hultzen
Best Defensive Catcher – Steve Baron
Best Defensive Infielder – Gabriel Noriega
Best Infield Arm – Carlos Triunfel
Best Defensive OF – Danny Carroll
Best Outfield Arm – Johermyn Chavez
Thursday was a busy media day for the Mariners, with the annual Pre-Spring Training Media Day at Safeco Field. The event features a number of guests, including several members of the Baseball Operations Department, Manager Eric Wedge, General Manager Jack Zduriencik, outfielders Michael Saunders and Mike Carp and catcher Jesus Montero. Here is a listing of Podcasts from various radio interviews from Thursday:
- Manager Eric Wedge and GM Jack Zduriencik with Brock & Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle
- Pitching Coach Carl Willis with Dave “Softy” Mahler on Sports Radio KJR
- Catcher Jesus Montero with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett on Sports Radio KJR
- Manager Eric Wedge with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett on Sports Radio KJR
- Outfielder Michael Saunders with Gas and Elise on Sports Radio KJR
- INF/OF Mike Carp was a guest on New Day Northwest
And here are a few links from interviews conducted on media row at the Seattle Sports Star of the Year event Wednesday:
- Eric Wedge joins Jim Moore and Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle
- Jack Zduriencik and Jay Buhner join Jim Moore and Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle
- Jesus Montero and Eric Wedge with Gas and Elise on Sports Radio KJR
- Jack Zduriencik and Seattle Storm President Karen Bryant with Gas and Elise on Sports Radio KJR
You can follow today’s Pre-Spring Training Media Day via a live webcast at Mariners.com.
10:05 am — Mariners Senior Director of Baseball Information Tim Hevly welcomes the media to the 32nd Annual Pre-Spring Training Media Luncheon and a video is shown of Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge talking about “The Plan.”
10:10 am — Mariners VP of Marketing Kevin Martinez unveils the 35th Anniversary Patch that will be worn on home and road uniforms this season. he also announced plans to bring back former players from throughout the organization’s history during home weekend series.
10:15 am — Senior VP of Communications Randy Adamack talks about the Mariners Opening Series vs. the A’s in Japan.
10:20 am — Head Athletic Trainer gives the off-season injury update. Says that Felix is doing great after getting hit by a line drive in his last start at Texas. Brendan Ryan should be full-steam ahead in spring training. Casper Wells was diagnosed with a “balance disorder” and is 100% and ready to go. Rick also says that Franklin Gutierrez is healthy and has put on about 15 pounds of muscle and looks as healthy as he ever has.
10:30 am — Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn takes the stage for his first introduction to the Seattle media. Gwynn says his basic philosophy is fundamentals, and whatever it takes to get those fundamentals down. Gwynn has been with the San Diego Padres in various scouting and player development roles. He played 10 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Dodgers, Royals and Padres.
10:40 am — Assistant GM Jeff Kingston and Special Assistant to the GM Tony Blengino talk about the players coming to spring training that have been added to the roster this off-season.
10:51 am — We are running a little ahead of schedule, which tends to happen with this event, so GM Jack Zduriencik is now on the stage. He begins by congratulating ESPN 710 Seattle’s Mike Salk on the addition to his family and Jerry Brewer on his Writer of the Year award.
JZ says that there is no question we will have a young team this year, but also have some young talent right behind them. Adds, it may be a challenging year at the Big League level, but we are up for the challenge. Sprinkled in some veterans as well that will provide clubhouse leadership. Now is is answering questions from the media.
11:00 am — Jack still has the stage and is answering questions from the media. Talks about the make-up of this year’s team and how they have grown together after last season. He says there will be some competition during spring training for some roster spots. Also mentioned having about 10 players up to Seattle in January for team bonding and to see how they have progressed physically. Said it was a good experience for the players to get on the same page before spring training.
1:10 am — Jack is deep in to talking about The Plan. Says that we are building this thing the right way and climbing the ladder. He is not satisfied, but there has been progress and is in the middle of the process. Lots of positives, lots of good young talent. Acknowledges patience is tough for fans, but says there are a lot of great things going on here and the future is bright.
11:15 am — Manager Eric Wedge takes the stage. In his opening statement says that he is more excited & more confident today than when he took the job. Talking about this year’s team with a lot of passion and energy.
11:30 am — Wedge has some interesting tidbits saying that he is leaning towards batting Ichiro 2nd or 3rd in the order. Also says that Chone Figgins will play all three outfield positions, in addition to shortstop, third base and second base. Said that he is going to get the opportunity to play all over the field.
11:35 am — Jesus Montero is introduced to the media, sporting his #63 jersey with Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge.
Jesus just met Edgar Martinez for the first time this morning. Montero once told his dad “I’m going to be like him, hitting ball to right field.”
11:45 am — Mike Carp and Michael Saunders are now on the podium. Both have been part of the caravan this week. Carp said he is hoping to build off his strong season last year and worked hard in the weight room during the off-season. Saunders said last year was a tough year and is using that as motivation for the upcoming season ahead.
Carp added “We are young and we want to win. We play hard. Hopefully some of the younger guys step up. With our pitching we should compete.”
Saunders said he has spent a lot of his off-season training working with video, and studying some of the best hitters in the game, and what they do right. His ultimate goal, and mindset, is to hit the ball hard and let the results take care of itself.
And that is a wrap from media day. We will post a photo gallery later this afternoon.
Today, we announced that 9 organizational players have been invited to Major League Spring Training. These players are in addition to the 16 players the Mariners have signed as minor league free agents. So, as of right now, the spring training roster consists of 65 players. Here is the Mariners current 40-Man Roster with spring training invites.
Here are the 9 Mariners minor league players that will participate in Major League Spring Training:
- RHP Taijuan Walker
- LHP James Paxton
- INF Nick Franklin
- OF Vinnie Catricala
- RHP Erasmo Ramirez
- RHP Stephen Pryor
- RHP Forrest Snow
- C Jesus Sucre
- C Ralph Henriquez
There are a few names on here that fans will be very excited to see roaming the upper fields in Peoria.
The list includes seven of the Mariners top 20 prospects for the 2012 season as listed by Baseball America, including Taijuan Walker (#2), James Paxton (#4), Nick Franklin (#5), Vinnie Catricala (#9), Erasmo Ramirez (#13), Stephen Pryor (#15) and Forrest Snow (#19). Additional top 30 prospects C Jesus Montero (#1), LHP Danny Hultzen (#3), RHP Chance Ruffin (#7), RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (#8), INF Alex Liddi (#14), OF Chih-Hsien Chiang (#24), INF Carlos Triunfel (#25), LHP Mauricio Robles (#26) and OF Johermyn Chavez (#28) are on the 40-man roster.
Additionally, the Mariners had five players named among MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects:
- C Jesus Montero (#12)
- LHP Danny Hultzen (#16)
- RHP Taijuan Walker (#18)
- INF Nick Franklin (#52)
- LHP James Paxton (#77)
The Mariners were one of five organizations to place at least 5 prospects on this year’s Top 100 list, and ranked highest with 329 Prospect Points (100 points to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to the team with No. 2 and on down).
Walker, 19, was named the Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011 going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA (31 ER, 96.2 IP) with A Clinton. He was recently named the No. 8 right-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com. Walker was originally selected by Seattle in the supplemental first round (43rd overall) in the 2010 June Draft.
Paxton, 23, was recently named the No. 8 left-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com (Hultzen was No. 3). He made his debut in 2011 combining to go 6-3 with a 2.37 ERA (25 ER, 95.0 IP) in 17 starts with A Clinton and AA Jackson. Overall, he ranked 2nd in the minors with 12.41 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (131 SO). Paxton signed with the Mariners last March after being selected in the 4th round of the 2010 June Draft.
Franklin, 20, also garnered attention from MLB.com as the No. 6 shortstop prospect. Despite missing an extended period of time in 2011 with a concussion, Franklin still hit .281 (99×352) with 64 runs scored, 13 doubles, 7 triples, 7 home runs and 26 RBI with the AZL Mariners, High Desert and Jackson. He capped his 2011 season being named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game. In 2010 he was one of only three minor leaguers to turn in a 20 HR-20 SB season (23 HR, 25 SB). Franklin was selected by Seattle in the first round (27th overall) in the 2009 June Draft.
Catricala, 23, was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year in 2011 combining to bat .349 (182×521) with 101 runs, 48 doubles, 4 triples, 25 home runs and 106 RBI in 133 games with A High Desert and AA Jackson. Among full season minor leaguers he ranked 2nd in extra base hits (77), 3rd in hits, T3rd in doubles, T4th in batting average and T9th in RBI. Catricala was selected by the Mariners in the 10th round of the 2009 June Draft out of the University of Hawai’i.
Ramirez, 21, combined to go 10-8 with a 4.83 ERA (82 ER, 152.2 IP) in 26 starts with Jackson and Tacoma. Ramirez is 35-14, 3.10 in his minor league career (79 G/73 GS), including being named the 2009 Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 11-1, 0.51 as a 19-year-old with the Venezuelan Summer League Mariners.
Pryor, 22, combined for 10 saves with High Desert and Jackson last season. The hard-throwing right-hander averaged 11.05 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in 39 relief appearances. He was originally selected by Seattle in the 5th round of the 2010 June Draft out of Tennessee Tech University.
Snow, 23, went 5-12 with a 5.09 ERA (81 ER, 143.1 IP) in 28 appearances (21 GS) split between Clinton, High Desert and Tacoma. The University of Washington product led the Arizona Fall League with a 1.10 ERA (2 ER, 16.1 IP). Snow was originally selected in the 36th round of the 2010 June Draft.
Sucre, 23, split time between AA affiliates with Atlanta (Mississippi) and Seattle (Jackson) organizations last season. He combined to throw out 31 of 60 attempted base stealers (51.7%).
Henriquez, 24, saw action in 80 games last season with High Desert, Jackson and Tacoma. He was originally selected by Houston in the 2nd round of the 2005 June Draft and signed with Seattle as a minor league free agent on Dec. 11, 2009.
And we just found out that 5 Mariners are ranked among the top 100.
- C Jesus Montero (#12)
- LHP Danny Hultzen (#16)
- RHP Taijuan Walker (#18)
- INF Nick Franklin (#52)
- LHP James Paxton (#77)
The Mariners were one of five organizations to place at least 5 prospects on this year’s Top 100 list. The Padres, Rays and A’s each had six prospects on the list. But they ranked the highest with 329 Prospect Points (100 points to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to the team with No. 2 and on down).
Top Prospect Points 1. Seattle 329 2. Kansas City 290 3. Pittsburgh 276 4. Atlanta 267 5. Arizona 253
MLB.com writer T.R. Sullivan caught up with Danny Hultzen and General Manager Jack Zduriencik in his piece on Mariners.com. Jonathan Mayo also breaks down the top 100 prospects in this detailed article.
And we can also note that 4 of the 5 players (Montero, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton) will be in town this weekend at FanFest.
In case you missed it tonight, Jesus Montero joined the Hot Stove League Show on 710 ESPN Seattle and gave a spectacular interview. He talked with hosts Rick Rizzs, Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman about his excitement about becoming a Mariner, his goals as a baseball player and even about his love for drag racing. You can listen to the podcast via 710Sports.com (jumping ahead to about the 19:00 mark) or Mariners.com (jumping ahead to about the 86:00 mark). Enjoy!
[Blog Update] The good people at ESPN 710 Seattle also posted a direct link to the Montero Interview.
New Mariners catcher Jesus Montero had a conference call this afternoon with the media. Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik was also on the line. You can listen to Zduriencik’s opening comments from the conference call.
Montero was asked about the delay in finalizing the trade, which was complicated by last week’s Seattle snow and ice storms. Montero related a “rough week trying to get to Seattle. But I finally made it and I’m very happy to be here.”
During his time with the Yankees after a September 1 call-up, Montero says he learned a lot from former Mariner and now former Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez. “He told me to go to the cage. He told me he’d fine me $100 a day if I didn’t go. So I started going to the cage and learning my routine. I learned a lot from A-Rod.”
On hearing that he’d been traded:
“They (the Yankees) called me at my dad’s birthday party and I was in shock because I was always told it wasn’t going to happen. But my family is really happy. This is a new opportunity for my life and my career. I just want to win every day.”
Montero, whose English is quite good, was asked about the difficulty of working with a pitcher who speaks Japanese (Hisashi Iwakuma, signed as a free agent on January 5th). Montero said that he had experience with that last season at AAA when he caught Kei Igawa. He said they had to come up with hand signs to communicate, but with the help of an interpreter, they worked out a system.
Montero said that he doesn’t know fellow countryman Felix Hernandez well, but Felix is, of course, a superstar back home, and he’s looking forward to having the chance to get to know him for “many years to come.”
Asked what the people of Venezuela know about Seattle and the Mariners, Montero responded that the Mariners are popular because of Felix and Franklin Gutierrez. And now with Montero on the team, he commented that the Mariners will be even more well-known back home “because we’re going to win.”
We just got done with the conference call with Jesus Montero and Jack Zduriencik, and we will post some quotes from that shortly here at the blog.
We just got a chance to meet Jesus, and he is a very impressive young man. He is very excited about being a Seattle Mariner and can’t wait to get to Spring Training.
And here is the first photo of Jesus Montero at Safeco Field.
I also had a chance to catch up with Jesus and ask him a few questions:
5 Questions with Jesus Montero:
1. What is your favorite movie? The Terminator
2. Who is your baseball idol? Sammy Sosa
3. What is your favorite kind of music? Salsa
4. How would you like to be known as a player? The complete player who can catch and hit (and with a smile he said for power!)
5. What is your dream car? Lamborghini (he loves the sport of drag racing, but does not participate — too fast he says)
The Mariners officially completed the 4-player trade with the New York Yankees, acquiring C/DH Jesus Montero and RHP Hector Noesi in exchange for RHP Michael Pineda and minor league RHP Jose Campos.
Montero and Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik will be on a conference call at 2:30 p.m. PT today, and we’ll pass along some quotes from that and hopefully get a chance to ask Jesus some questions to share on the blog.
And here is how Jesus will look in a Mariners uniform (use photoshop of course).
MARINERS ACQUIRE JESUS MONTERO, HECTOR NOESI FROM NEW YORK YANKEES
Mariners send RHP Michael Pineda and RHP Jose Campos to New York.
SEATTLE, Wash. — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today that the club has acquired catcher Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league right-handed pitcher Jose Campos.
“With this trade we feel we have acquired a premium offensive talent that has the potential to hit in the middle of our lineup and grow with our other young players,” said Zduriencik. “It is also beneficial that we were able to acquire a Major League- ready pitcher with six years of control and who will compete for a spot in our rotation.
“It was very difficult to part ways with Michael (Pineda) as we are extremely proud of what he has been able to accomplish in our organization. He is a special young man and we wish him the best of luck with the Yankees.
“Through our evaluations, we’ve identified the strength of our organization to be pitching depth, and this helped in our decision to acquire what we consider a premium bat and a potential starting pitcher for the 2012 season and beyond. This trade is also a testament to the job that Bob Engle (Vice President, International Operations) and Tom McNamara (Director of Amateur Scouting) and their staffs have done through scouting and signing of players. ”
Montero, 22, has been ranked by Baseball America as the Yankees top prospect in each of the last three years (2010-12) and the 3rd-best prospect in all of baseball (top catcher) entering the 2011 season. He was also tabbed by the publication as the Yankees “Best Hitter for Average” and “Best Power Hitter”. He was recently selected as the top catching prospect by MLB.com.
Montero made his Major League debut as a September call-up and hit .328 (20×61) with 9 runs, 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 RBI with a .406 on-base percentage and a .590 slugging percentage in 18 games. His September performance earned him a spot on the Yankees Division Series playoff roster where he went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI in his only two at-bats against Detroit. Last season in 109 games with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Montero hit .288 (121×420) with 52 runs, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 18 home runs and 67 RBI.
Montero has combined to bat .308 (570×1852) during his rapid rise through the Yankees minor league system. He was selected to play in the 2008 (Yankee Stadium) and 2009 (Busch Stadium) Futures Game. In 2010 he combined to bat .289 (131×453) with 34 doubles, 3 triples, 21 home runs and 75 RBI with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Guacara, Venezuela native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 17, 2006.
Noesi, 24 (turns 25 on Jan. 26), split the 2011 season between the Yankees and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 30 games, including two starts with the Yankees, he was 2-2, 4.47 ERA (28 ER, 56.1 IP) with 45 strikeouts. With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he was 1-1, 3.28 ERA (9 ER, 24.2 IP) with 17 strikeouts in 6 games, 5 starts. He was rated by Baseball America as the Yankees 7th-best prospect heading into the 2011 season as was also tabbed by the publication as having the “Best Control” in their system (he was not eligible to be included in their 2012 rankings due to having pitched more than 50.0 innings in the Major Leagues last season).
Noesi has combined to go 30-18 with a 2.98 ERA (142 ER, 428.1 IP) with 401 strikeouts in 97 games, 74 starts in the Yankees minor league system. In 2010 he combined to go 14-7, 3.20 ERA (57 ER, 160.1 IP) with 153 strikeouts in 28 games, 27 starts between High-A Tampa, AA Trenton and AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre and was selected to the World Team roster for the 2010 All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Esperanza, Dominican Republic native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 3, 2004.
Pineda, 23, spent the entire 2011 season with the Mariners, going 9-10, 3.74 ERA (71 ER, 171.0 IP) with 173 strikeouts in 28 appearances, all starts. In his career in the minors he was 31-14, 2.49 ERA (112 ER, 404.1 IP) with 396 strikeouts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 12, 2005.
Campos, 19, was 5-5, 2.32 ERA (21 ER, 81.1 IP) with 85 strikeouts in 14 appearances, all starts with short-season Everett. In three seasons in the Mariners system, he is a combined 14-10, 3.26 ERA (62 ER, 171.1 IP) with 167 strikeouts in 40 games, including 30 starts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 15, 2009.
With these roster moves, the Mariners 40-man roster is now full at 40.
Believe it or not, Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Peoria, AZ on Feb. 11, and not that we are counting or anything, but that is just 19 days away!
The Hot Stove League show will be hosted by Rick Rizzs, Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman. Fans can listen locally in the Puget Sound region on 710 ESPN Seattle and over the Internet on Mariners.com. Guests for the show are scheduled to include:
- Executive Vice President and General Manager Jack Zduriencik
- Catcher Jesus Montero (newly acquired in trade today)
- Pitching Coach Carl Willis
- Relief Pitcher Shawn Kelley
- ESPN.com Writer Jim Caple
- Mariners Marketing Managers Michael Ferguson and Mandy Lincoln (discussing FanFest)
Tonight on Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS highlights of a couple of fun games in August. August 13, the Mariners roughed up the Red Sox Josh Beckett for five runs in the first inning, starting with Ichiro’s 34th career leadoff home run. The August 15 game features include a comeback win over the Blue Jays with two home runs by Mike Carp, including back-to-back homers with Casper Wells in the 8th inning, and pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen’s first Major League win. Mariners Mondays starts at 7:30pm on ROOT SPORTS.