The season no one expects
Seattle may not know the best fit for Jesus Montero, whether it is behind the plate catching, or as the Edgar Martinez (DH) of this Mariners team. One thing the Mariners can count on is the 23-year-old’s bat in the lineup.
No, Montero did not have the year everyone expected after his guest appearance with the Yankees in 2011 (4 HR’s and .328 BA in 69 PA).
Still, Montero’s .260 BA did lead the Mariners in 2012, 4th on the team in HR’s and 2nd in RBI.
2013 will be the year that Montero puts everything together. Call me overly optimistic, call me a homer, but from the day the Mariners traded Michael Pineda for Montero, Seattle had a reason to be excited.
Three reasons to be excited about Montero in 2013:
1. Kendrys Morales
Morales’ “down” 2012, his first year back recovering from a leg injury suffered in 2010 against Seattle, was still incredibly productive. So productive in fact, that Morales would have led the Mariners in with homers, batting average and OBP.
Having another bat in the lineup that has experience in the league and knows about the ups and downs of the big leagues.
The combination of Morales and an increasingly productive Kyle Seager will give Montero the opportunity to see and hit better pitches.
2. The tearing down of Jericho that was left field
OK, it wasn’t torn down, but left field is not going to be the absurdity it has been since SafeCo Field opened up. It seems like the only people that have hit home runs out of left field lately were named Mark Trumbo, Albert Pujols or Mike Trout.
They haven’t played for the Mariners.
This example does not scream confidence in Montero’s success, but sometimes numbers do change, especially when the player is 23, and their numbers in the minors have projected well.
Perhaps only one year with Seattle will not result in an increase in power and getting on base, but I will throw my name in as one who believes Montero will flourish after knowing the ins and outs of a 162-game season.