Jesus Montero and David Adams are likely the main prospects headed to the Mariners in exchange for Cliff Lee. So who are they? A 20-year-old catcher who ranks among the game’s best prospects and a 23-year-old second baseman hitting well at AA.
Baseball America ranked Montero first among Yankees prospects before the season, citing his “hand-eye coordination, keen pitch recognition, knack for barreling balls and tremendous strength.” Montero has hit .253/.329/.408 in Triple A since placing fourth overall in Baseball America’s pre-season prospect rankings and 10th on Keith Law’s list.
BA placed Montero fifth among all MLB prospects in their recently-released mid-season rankings, but they say that Montero hasn’t improved this year and has convinced scouts that he won’t stay at catcher long-term. Scouts are still convinced that Montero can hit, so he may end up playing first base like former catchers Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado.
Adams doesn’t have the same top prospect pedigree as Montero. He ranked 22nd among Yankees prospects before the season, according to Baseball America. Adams has gap power and a good arm, but doesn’t run particularly well or have great range. Baseball America suggested he could move to third base and that seems like a real possibility now, since the Mariners have top second base prospect Dustin Ackley.
So far in 2010, Adams has continued to hit well. He posted a .309/.393/.507 line in 173 plate appearances at AA Trenton.