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7/9/1983 (33 y, 7 m, 12 d)
$60M / 5 Years (2013 - 2017)
Montero is out of the lineup for Game 6 of the NLCS. (10/22/2016)
The Value of Getting Aroldis Chapman Off the Mound
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
The Chicago Cubs Infield: Things Will Get Interest»
Adam McFadden (RotoGraphs)
Miguel Montero: The Next Piece of the Cubs Puzzle
August Fagerstrom (FanGraphs)
Another Underwhelming Year From Miguel Montero
David Wiers (RotoGraphs)
Catchers Changing Courses: Wilin Rosario, Miguel M»
Nicholas Minnix (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Stuck backing up Chris Snyder in 2007 and '08, Montero seized hold of the No. 1 job in '09 as the veteran catcher struggled with injuries. Over the past two seasons, Montero has shown the ability to handle a variety of pitches – not just the fastball. He does a good job of waiting back on offspeed pitches. Playing full-time at the MLB level for the first time in his career, Montero actually got stronger in the second half of the year (.316/.366/.534 vs .267/.341/.408). The young catcher doesn't hurt the club on defense but he could stand to improve his throwing: his career caught-stealing rate is just 24%.
The Year Ahead:
Montero should open 2010 as the Diamondbacks' No. 1 catcher. The 26-year-old backstop is a complete fantasy package with the ability to hit for a nice average while also displaying good power and reasonable walk and strikeout rates. If Snyder remains with the club in '10, then Montero's playing time will be negatively impacted. Although he swings from the left side, Montero hits southpaws very well (career line of .313/.352/.440), so he doesn't need to be platooned. He has a chance of being a top fantasy catcher in 2010. (Marc Hulet)
Coming off a breakout performance in 2009 (.357 wOBA, 16 HR, 3.0 WAR), Montero was poised to take a step forward and join the ranks of baseball's elite fantasy backstops in 2010. An early season torn meniscus got in the way, but after a two-month stint on the disabled list and Chris Snyder's eventual trade to Pittsburgh, Montero was finally able to step back in and assume the team's starting catching job. A hot first few weeks off the DL makes Montero's .326 post-injury wOBA look mighty fine, though in the season's final three months he produced at just a .304 wOBA pace. Montero's clearly a better player than that, and it's very possible that the knee injury hampered his production. The offseason can cure many ills, especially physical ones. A typical 5-4-3 weighting system puts him at a .340 wOBA with double-digit homers in 2011, well above average for a backstop. Still just 27, Montero is a fine fantasy option should you miss out on one of the traditional big three backstops. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
A knee injury cost Montero two months of the 2010 season and may have hindered him even after returning, though the 2011 outlook is kind. Montero offers plenty of power for the position and is the undisputed number one with Chris Snyder in Pittsburgh.
There’s not a lot to dislike about Miguel Montero. He contributes in every category outside of steals, gets superb counting stats for a catcher, and does the little things for points leagues like taking walks and hitting doubles. After a poor 2010, Montero was back to his old ways last season, providing the sort of consistency that allows a fantasy owner to forget about the catching position and worry about other things. The level of interest that Montero inspires on Draft Day is directly related to the setup of each league:in deep leagues, or those with two catchers, Montero is worth paying a premium. In ten-team leagues, however, the difference between Montero and the tenth-rated catcher just isn’t great enough to risk reaching on him. Montero will be 29 this season, which is 35 in catcher years, but he’ll be able to stave off decline for another couple of years. Think of him as a Mike Lieberthal for the modern man. (Patrick Dubuque)
The Quick Opinion:
After a poor 2010, Montero was back to his old ways last season, providing the sort of consistency that allows a fantasy owner to forget about the catching position and worry about other things. Think of him as a Mike Lieberthal for the modern man.
Miguel Montero has started to show up on "Most Underrated" lists, and in his case, the tag is justified. While he does play in a nice park for hitters, his numbers as a hitter are impressive even once taking that into account. He is also a catcher, of course, and though his bat probably is part of the reason no one notices, he is a good defender, too. Montero's glove isn't going to help you much in fantasy, but his hitter's park will. In terms of raw offensive value, 2012 was Montero's best season, and he will not be 30 until the middle of 2013. On the bright side, Montero saw his walk rate spike in 2012. On the other hand, after having a nice contact rate in 2011, it dropped back down a bit in 2012 as his strikeouts went back over 20 percent. Montero is not going to carry many fantasy teams, but he will give good value for the position -- .280/.360/.440 with around 15 home runs is nice production from a catcher in most leagues. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Montero is not a superstar catcher like Buster Posey, but he is a good hitter at a shallow position. He could be a draft-day bargain if the other owners are asleep.
The 2013 season was a tough one for Montero and his fantasy owners as the once-consistent producer posted one of his worst statistical seasons. Granted, back problems limited him to just 112 games, but even beyond that, his strikeouts spiked, his walks diminished, his isolated power dipped, and his average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all fell dramatically from the year before. The struggles early in the season snowballed throughout the year as he was obviously pressing at the plate. His swing rate rose but his contact rate fell and his swinging-strike rate jumped to a career-worst 12.2%. Now the question is, was it just a bad year or are we looking at the start of a statistical decline for the 30-year old backstop? It's hard to imagine such a consistent producer falling so hard, so fast, but you have to be concerned that age and injuries have finally caught up to him. He walks into 2014 as the starting catcher for the Diamondbacks and last season's totals should help to keep his draft price down, but if you go cheap at the position and make him your primary catcher, be sure to have a solid contingency plan just in case. (Howard Bender)
The Quick Opinion:
Montero could prove to be a fantastic bargain in 2014 if last year's statistical drop-off was more of an aberration than an actual decline, but at 30 years of age and a history of both back and knee problems, he could also be on his way out the door. He'll open the 2014 season as the Diamondbacks' primary catcher, but his fantasy value will suffer if he doesn't return to the consistent production he once offered.
The Cubs acquired Montero this offseasn primarily because he is a great pitch framer and Welington Castillo is a terrible pitch framer. But Montero is on the wrong side of 30 and has a pretty noticeable platoon split, so it would make sense for Chicago to spell him often when they face left-handed pitching. As a result, he might not get 550+ plate appearances like he did in three of the last four years in Arizona. In addition to the concerns about volume, his triple slash stats rebounded last year after a terrible 2013, but not anywhere close to where they were at in 2012. Montero just barely managed to finish as a top 12 catcher last year, and it's hard to imagine him repeating that with a presumed drop in plate appearances. He's really only an option in two-catcher leagues and NL-only leagues. (
The Quick Opinion:
Montero bounced back from a terrible 2013, but not anywhere near where he was in 2012. That decline in production coupled with a likely decrease in plate appearances mean that Montero's days of mixed-league relevancy are probably over.
Montero continued doing Montero things in 2015. He hit double-digit homers for the fifth straight season, posted a double-digit walk rate for the fourth straight, and topped 50 RBI for the fourth time in five seasons. One change is that Montero surprisingly mashed when he went the opposite way, hitting seven home runs to the opposite field. That tops his combined total for the previous three seasons. His opposite field production was the best of any location. Hitters generally become more pull happy as they age so it’s a good sign for the longevity of Montero’s power that he can still hit with such authority to the opposite field. While the power is still good, his age may be showing in his ability to make contact. Alarmingly, Montero’s strikeout rate, contact rate, and swinging strike rates were all career worsts. His struggles were especially bad on fastballs, against which he whiffed on 28% of his swings. Pitchers still attacked him mainly away, but may have started to catch on to his struggles as they also threw pitches down the middle at the highest rate of his career. Relative stability, power, and position in what’s likely to be a good offense still make Montero a strong option in deep leagues. (Adam McFadden)
The Quick Opinion:
Montero isn’t the offensive threat he was a few years ago, but he’s settled into a solid fantasy player as long as he’s set up with the correct expectations. He spent most of his time batting fourth, fifth, or sixth last season. A similar role would give him plenty of RBI opportunities with the Cubs.
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Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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