El Mensajero (English)

Posted: May 13, 2010

Montero is one of Yankees' top prospects

By Amy Moritz/The Buffalo News

(MCT) -- When you're one of the top prospects in the New York Yankees' organization, the expectations are pretty high.

But so far in his first season of Triple-A, catcher Jesus Montero has been riding the wave rather well.

"I just try to come to the stadium and have fun," Montero said. "I try to work hard every single day. I try to do everything relaxed and don't pay attention to that. Just play baseball and try to help the team to win."

Montero went 1 for 3 while drawing two walks April 18 in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees' 4-3, 10-inning win over the Buffalo Bisons in Coca-Cola Field.

While behind the plate, Montero is working on improving his defense. He had one passed ball, but also made a key play at the plate in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the win.

"I feel really good. I've tried to help pitchers win games every single time. I try to do a good job," Montero said. "I work hard every single day. ... We had some pretty good plays on the field today. Every single day we try to win and do our best. I try to help my pitchers get outs. It was a nice play at home plate, too. It was a good day."

"He's done a good job," Scranton manager Dave Miley said. "I think he's worked hard. He just needs the opportunity to go out there and play every day and work with our pitching staff."

The Yankees signed Montero for $1.6 million in 2006 when the Venezuelan was considered the best amateur hitter to come out of Latin America since Miguel Cabrera signed with Florida in 1999. Each year since, his statistics have improved. Last summer, splitting time between Class-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, Montero hit .337 with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs.

This season Yankees' starting rotation has suffered from a lack of run support. Through the first 10 games, the Yankees have scored just 13 runs for the starting rotation and five times this season starters have left the game without a supporting run on the board.

April 18, starter Ivan Nova pitched well for the Yankees, giving up three runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, but took a no-decision. Mark Melancon pitched two innings to earn the win.

In all, the Yankees offense is not what it was last year. Through the first 10 games of 2009, Scranton had scored 68 runs. This year through the first 10, the club has scored just 30 runs.

"We're not the only team that's gotten out of the gates slow as far as offense," Miley said. "We've got some guys that obviously we have no question that they're going to hit. They've done it in the past and no reason not do it now. But it's 10 games in and there's a lot of baseball to be played."

Copyright (c) 2010, The Buffalo News, N.Y. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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