Rafael Montero | RHP, Mets | Born:  10/17/1990

The assumption around foresighted fantasy circles is that Mets ace-in-the-making, Noah Syndergaard, will force his way into the big league rotation at some point before this year’s All-Star break.  It’s not a poor assumption to make — Syndergaard is loaded with size and stuff and athleticism, and he baffled Double-A hitters last season to such a degree that one would think he’s ready to do the same at the highest level.  And maybe he is.  What folks around fantasy are ignoring, though, as they make room at the ends of their benches to stash Syndergaard, is that he’s probably not the first man the Mets will ask to start ballgames once a need presents itself this season.

Rafael Montero is about as well-cooked as a prospect gets.  Mets fans were clamoring for his call-up last summer, as he posted a line at 2.78/1.10/150 through 155 IP between Double-A and Triple-A. Although it isn’t flashy, Montero brings a quality arsenal, featuring a plus fastball and two above average secondary offerings (CH/SL).  It’s not front-end caliber stuff, but when it’s delivered with the deception and pitching savvy that Montero brings to the mound, the entire repertoire gets a boost in grade.  The 2014 Minor League Baseball season is not yet a week old, but Montero has already notched two Triple-A starts, and the results have been quite good:  11 IP, 3 ER, 14/1 K/BB.

To be clear, none of this post is to suggest that Rafael Montero is somehow a better starting pitching prospect than Noah Syndergaard.  But amid all of the the Syndergaard hype this spring, I feel like Montero’s name is getting lost in the hoopla.  The Mets have the coveted luxury of SP depth, and soon enough, they’ll be faced with the decision:  Syndergaard or Montero?  A number of factors will be considered, and service time will no doubt be a major influencer.  In the end, there might even be room for both arms in the Mets rotation.  For now, though, I suspect Montero’s overall polish will earn him the first look.  And if that’s indeed the case, he’ll be worthy of mixed league attention, offering impact potential in ERA and WHIP while spending most of his days in the pitcher-friendly environment of Citi Field.

  1. Carnac says:

    Nice peep, Scott. I’m putting this one in The Vault.

  2. Keithkinkade says:

    Mets are cursed. He’ll blow out his arm by the 4th if July 2015.

  3. Carl Weathers says:

    Nice Scott, glad I read this.

    How aggressive do you think an owner in a keeper league should be with picking up J.Baez (SS)? Deep roster keeper league I am in, only 8 teams but can keep as many as we want – and ya, deep rosters.

    Grab him at end of April? Mid-May, NOW?

    • THE_FREAK says:

      @Carl Weathers:
      If Baez is available in a keeper league…it AIN’T deep

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

        @THE_FREAK: that’s crazy even in a 2 teamer to have baez available.

  4. alex seber says:

    Where does Mejia matchup with Montero and Syndergaard?

    • In terms of ceiling? Not on the same level as Syndergaard, but not too far off from Montero… expect better WHIP from Montero, better Ks from Mejia.

  5. Jeff P says:

    Montero will be in the bullpen next year. Harvey, Colon, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Niese/Gee/Mejia. Unless they trade some starters, there is no room. (That of course presumes no more Tommy Johns).

    • Could see it, sure. Mets will bring him along as SP for now & truthfully, he carries a better long-term SP profile than Mejia, whose stuff could be filthy in short stints out of ‘pen…

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:

        @Scott Evans: Yeah, I see Mejia as ultimately a closer or 8th inning guy. I would like to see him fail as a starter first. The Mets jerked him around a few years ago between starting and relieving.

        • Agree. Deserves an extended audition in the rotation, but skill set seems suited for 8th/9th.

          • Papajeansegura says:

            @Scott Evans: Hi, my name is Joel. I’ve been a Mets fan for over 10 years now. Totally agree with Mejia moving to the pen, there’s literally a pile of hot garbage sitting there. Bring up the young gunz

  6. Swfcdan says:

    Peepin prospects eh, not sure what I think of that title, isnt a word I’ve used since I was a kid ha. Guessing this is gonna alternate with the power rankings each week, good stuff.

    Just checking that you still like Ga(u)sman (yeah you see what I did there) more than Yordano. I think you do as do most other prospect ‘pert sites, but man did Yordano look nasty last night. I ask because I see the owner I got Gausman off has Yordano too, hope I was right in not asking for Yordano instead.

    • I inherited scouting the unknown & I hated that title — this is gonna be the same thing, new name. And yes, I like Gausman over Ventura for the long-term, although it’s close.

  7. Zaclo24 says:

    Scott, can I hire you to be my friend and just talk prospects with you all day long?

    • Matt P says:


      Haha the prospect prostitute

      • Chicken Dinner says:

        @Matt P: prospectute

  8. Matt P says:

    Any thoughts on Trey Ball? Grabbed him in last round of my 16 team 10 round prospect draft for a dynasty league. I’ve got Zimmer, Stephenson, Sims, and Wisler in minors too, excited for call ups this year, hopefully Zim and Stephenson make the cut or at least start season in majors next year.

  9. Al koholic says:

    great job Scott

  10. Frank White says:

    Sup Scott.. How long do you think it will be before either of those guys get the big call up?? First pitching injury? I would like to stash him but I can’t for months ya dig.

    • Frank White says:

      Oh also I was reading above and Gausman in my league is NA.. Why have him over Ventura if you can’t even pick him up?? Unless you can still grab guys that are NA in Yahoo..

      • Gausman long-term outlook better than Ventura’s. Obviously this year Ventura is the guy to own…

        • Frank White says:

          Yeah but Gausman is NA.. Is he going to be available to pickup soon or is it one of those things where you have to wait for an injury or something like that??

          • That depends on your player universe settings.

    • First injury should lead to a Montero call-up… he’s not worth stashing in standard formats.

      • Frank White says:


  11. Jon says:

    Hey Scott, would you hold Avisail Garcia in a minors spot, or drop him for one of Montero, Stroman, Fried, Shipley, Mondesi, Betts, Moran, Cecchini? 5×5 keeper

  12. Alan says:

    This dude offered me Stroman and Tyson Ross for Carlos Martinez in dynasty, i have to take the duo right?

    • I’m a little concerned w/ Ross’s velocity & I believe that Martinez will be starting games in STL before year’s end, but Stroman should be starting games in Toronto too… I think it’s a fair swap… ultimately comes down to Stroman v Martinez — which one sticks as a starter long-term?

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