Wednesday, August 30, 2006

In Depth: The 2006 Draft part 2

The Foreigner (Jesus Montero)

Not all blue chip prospects come from the draft. The Yankees beat out the competition to sign 16 year old catcher Jesus Montero. Montero was widely considered the top international free agent coming in to this year, and the best prospect out of Venezuela since Miguel Cabrera. He was too young to immediately play in the minor leagues, but will report to Charleston next year.

There are some concerns that the 6'2 230 lb Montero might be too bulky to remain at catcher, but his hitting ability is not questioned. He has power, plate coverage, discipline, and maturity.

Montero will participate in the Yankee's mini-camp after the minor league season ends. Right now he is working out in Tampa and working on his catching skills. Although a lot of amateur scouts worry about his ability to stay at the catcher position, the Yankees don't seem to be worried.

The Kid (Zach McAllister)

With their first 18 picks of the draft, the Yankees picked up a grand total of two high school pitchers (and only one high school position player). Standing out among them is McAllister, a polished right handed starting pitcher. McAllister's body type reminds the Yankees a lot of Phil Hughes at 6'5" 230 lbs.

He throws hard with impressive control. He's impressed this year in the GCL, going 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 35 innings. He struck out 28, allowed 12 walks and 35 hits. He's set to impress in Charleston next year.

The Gamble (George Kontos)

George Kontos was not a good pitcher in college. He had a lot of trouble on the inner third of the plate, becoming very gun shy. His stuff and control were always good, but he got hit like crazy.

Scouts maintained that Kontos would tear up wooden bats, and they were right. Kontos has cut his ERA in half, going 7-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 72 innings for Statan Island.

Want to know how wicked his stuff is? Kontos throws a 93-94 mph 2 seamer as his primary pitch, with a mid 80s slider as his strikeout pitch. His heavy fastball results in a lot of groundball outs, which is deadly considering his plus control. He can throw a change and a curveball, and although they are not bad pitches neither really stands out.

Kontos has serious potential. Excellent control. Groundballs. Strikeouts. Thats a major formula for success.