Earlier this week we examined the Seattle Mariners farm system and the troubles most of their hitting prospects are having this year. One recent bright spot is the re-emergence of Jesus Montero, who destroyed Triple-A this year (.346/.388/.551) and is currently hitting well in the majors, .289/.333/.511.
Caveat from pessimists: that's just 16 games; he still has time to slump and the pitchers have time to make adjustments.
Counter-Caveat from optimists: he was mashing in Triple-A too, and it isn't like he hasn't hit well before, having hit strongly in the Yankees system for several years.
Counter-Counter-Caveat from pessimists: he's had big league hot streaks before: remember his .326/.406/.590 run in 18 games for the Yankees in 2011? That didn't stick.
Counter-Counter-Counter Caveat from optimists: Martinez has lost a huge amount of weight over the last nine months and is in much better condition. This enables his natural talent to blossom forth once again!
C-C-C-C Caveat from pessimists: he's a first baseman now, no longer a catcher, reducing his value.
C-C-C-C-C Caveat from optimists: so what? He's better than Justin Smoak.
C-C-C-C-C-C Caveat from pessimists: talk to me again when the sample size is larger than 16 games.
C-C-C-C-C-C-C Caveat from optimists: Okay, you have me there.
Personally, I'd like to think that Montero has turned a real corner here and will continue to hit. Of course, that's probably because he ranked very highly on several of my old prospect lists and it is much nicer to have successes on such lists that busts.
What do you guys think? Will Montero keep this up? Let's hear from readers who have seen him play recently. What are your impressions?