Montero or Lawrie?

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail had an interesting note in his column today, noting that there’s speculation in Toronto that the Mariners offered Michael Pineda to the Blue Jays in exchange for Brett Lawrie. They passed, and as we all know, the Mariners shipped Pineda to New York for Jesus Montero instead.

So, this brings up an interesting question – who is the more valuable player going forward, Lawrie or Montero? A year ago, Marc Hulet ranked Montero as the fifth best prospect in the game, while Lawrie came in at #35. Baseball America concurred, putting Montero at #3 and Lawrie at #40. Lawrie had a fantastic 2011 season, capped off with a monstrous performance in the Majors, but Montero hit well in his late season call-up as well. His minor league performance wasn’t as impressive, but you have to adjust for the difference in league/park and note that catching generally diminishes offensive numbers, so the gap might not be as large as it might seem on the surface.

Of course, Lawrie looks like he could be a quality defensive third baseman, while Montero offers little in the way of defensive value. Scouts seem to be a bit more sold on Montero’s bat, though, and prior year minor league performances all favor Montero. They’re essentially the same age, and both will be counted on as building blocks of their respective team’s offenses for years to come.

So, that brings up the question – who would you rather have going forward, Lawrie or Montero?

Poll after the jump.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

newest oldest most voted
guilhem
Member
guilhem

Lawrie and it’s not close.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

A year ago people thought Montero might still be a catcher.

Leo
Guest
Leo

Not anybody who was realistic.

Slartibartfast
Guest
Slartibartfast

This, exactly. The biggest difference between this year and last year is that, we are more sure now that Montero just isn’t going to cut it at C. That makes all the difference.

RobM
Guest
RobM

Yet, oddly, there’s a better chance he will be a catcher now than before. The Mariners plan to catch him. Why not? It’s not like they’re contending.