JFtC continues our look at those not on the Toronto Blue Jays 40 man roster. This time, 1B/DH, Jesus Montero of the Buffalo Bisons
It can almost be heard already in the stands as runners are left stranded, in scoring position no less. Sweet Jesus, we need to fix the RISP problem. Looking at what is going on in Buffalo with the Bisons, maybe Jesus is the answer, Jesus Montero that is.
Jesus Montero has been pounding it out pretty good in Buffalo, but he is definitely a player that has seen struggles. The Blue Jays have had a knack for getting players to find their stride and renewed power. Could this be the case for the 26yr old? What did the Blue Jays see in Montero to claim him off waivers from the Seattle Mariners?
So far he’s been doing well with the Buffalo Bisons, batting .311 with eight home runs and 46 RBI. That’s double the home runs and double the RBI’s of recent call up Andy Burns.
Homer serves up a pair in the first! #Bisons Andy Burns and Jesus Montero smash solo homers. Herd 2-0
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) June 27, 2016
Montero has quite the history behind him. Thought to be the best player available in the 2006 Free Agent class as well as the best power hitter, he started his career in 2007 with the Gulf Coast Yankees. He played in the Yankees minor system where he did well. He was added to the Eastern League All-Star roster in 2009, and was named to appear on the All-Star Futures Game. Unfortunately he broke his finger while catching, ending his season prematurely.
In 2010 Montero was still ranked a top prospect by Baseball America and he started his season with AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees where he struggled. It got to the point where Alex Rodriguez would fine him $100 for every day he didn’t work in the cage.
His MLB debut was September 1, 2011 where he batted in the DH spot at Fenway against the Boston Red Sox. Although he went 0-4, he was hit by a pitch and scored the go ahead run in the seventh inning of the game. Funny enough, his first home game at Yankee Stadium was against the Blue Jays.
Montero was part of the Biogenesis Clinic baseball scandal in 2013, and was suspended 50 games for PEDs along with 12 other players, one being Alex Rodriguez.
He started the 2014 season 40 pounds above his target weight, and while on the DL, played for the Everett AquaSox in the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. It was during a game that Montero got into an altercation with AquaSox roving instructor Butch Baccala. Baccala first asked Montero to leave the field in a timely matter, and topped it off with sending Montero an ice cream sandwich in the dugout. Montero found Baccala in the stands and threw the sandwich at him screaming expletives. When the dust settled, he was barred from playing the rest of the season. He is the only MLB player to come up when doing a Google search with “baseball, ice cream sandwich”.
History aside, he seems to be finding his way. Maybe it’s the philosophy he is currently following, a more relaxed approach toward off cracking under pressure perhaps. Montero spoke of his playing philosophy with Amy Moritz of The Buffalo News,
“I’m just trying to come out here and have fun. Help the team to win. I’m trying to have fun every single time. I’m not thinking about anything. Come out here, have fun, be a good teammate and help the team to win. That’s most important…..Be ready and relaxed. I try not to think about things too much, be natural and have fun out there.”
If this thinking is changing his mojo and he continues on this path, there is every reason to believe Jesus Montero could get the call and come in from the fringe.
*Featured Image Credit: slgckgc UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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