Baseball Diamond News

Friday, June 03, 2005

Prospect Report IV: Luis Montanez

Back in 2000 the Cubs had the #3 pick in the draft and picked Luis Montanez. I remember reading about it online at work and most people said it was a reach of a pick and has proven to be so at the moment. The one good thing is that besides Rocco Baldelli and now Chase Utley no other 1st round pick in the 2000 has done much either.
In his 1st season Montanez looked real sharp in the AZL with a line of .344/.422/.531 in 50 games, but struggled in 8 games when promoted to Lansing (Low-A). In 2001 Luis spent the whole year in Lansing and regressed at the plate. His BB/K rate went from 28/48 to 34/121 and his averages were .255/.307/.375. Meanwhile his defense was becoming a problem with a ton of errors and lack of range. In 2002 he went to Daytona were he spent the next 2 full seasons with OPS's of .686 and .638 and though his BB/K improved from the 2001 season, it still wasn't good. In 2004 Luis started in Daytona and got off to a horrible start batting .215/.292/.354 and continuing his poor defense. The Cubs management decided that some of Luis's batting troubles were attributed to him struggling on the field, so they decided to move him from SS/2b to LF. In doing this they sent to him to Boise, which is short-season A ball, and he started to hit the ball well .297/.381/.496 and showed some better plate discipline. This season he is in low A ball (Peoria) and is hitting the ball .319/.377/.483 and has no errors in the OF. These are not the ideal numbers for a corner OF and probably not what the Cubs envisioned they were getting when they picked him #3 overall, but maybe Luis can become a useful 4th/5th OF sometime in the future.


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