This will probably be the last “Meet” feature for the summer, by dint of the fact that I will have profiled everyone who currently resides on the SLP leader board after I finish with Mr. Montero. Not to worry, I’ll have some other SLP-related content, including, at some point, a difficult decision on how to reduce the competition to the true contenders before we reach the end of the season.
For today, however, we’ll finish our tour of rookie hitters with Miguel Montero. M Squared is not a high-profile rookie. He’s the catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where Chris B. Young is stealing all of the rookie spotlight. He’s also only played part of the year, so he’s just below everyone’s radar so far this season.
MM is a 24-year-old prospect who bats left and throws right. He was born in the melodically-named city of Caracas, Venezuela, and signed by the D-backs as a free agent in 2001. He often shares time with Chris Snyder, who is the preferred battery-mate for pitcher Brandon Webb. His current statistics don’t look so hot, but his exploits in the minors definitely lead to this place. He played for five years in the minor-league system for Arizona, moving steadily up every year, until he managed a six-game cup of coffee in the bigs in 2006. His combined average over his minor-league career was .358, and it never dipped below .274 at any time.
This would seem to indicate that Montero just needs a little seasoning, a concept endorsed by his manager, Bob Melvin. He told the Arizona Republic:
“The way he’s swinging the bat and the way we’ve had trouble scoring runs, he’s been giving us some pretty quality at-bats. I wouldn’t argue against trying to get him some more consistent time, maybe try to play him two or three days in a row.”
Sounds like manager-speak, but the fact is, Montero’s fellow catcher Snyder is hitting pretty light himself, at just .241 on the season. The two players are similar enough in the field that if Montero can adjust to major-league pitching, he might just be in line for more at-bats in the 2008 season.
To be honest, Miguel’s numbers, garnered in far too few appearances, probably don’t warrant his inclusion as a serious candidate for SLP stardom. But until we reach the stretch run, I’m holding the ballot open. In the upcoming weeks, however, I suspect we will say goodbye to MM, so we might as well say hello while we have the chance.
In other news, Ryan J. Braun is still absolutely destroying opposing pitchers, even as the Brewers continue to struggle. He upped his slugging percentage enough that it actually exceeds that of our gold standard, thus giving him 1001 points. Again, I use Similarity Scores as a way to measure against a fixed point, so I allow points to accumulate above the gold standard if necessary. This is not a sanctioned use of Similarity Scores, but screw it, I’m a blogger.