It is down to the final weeks of the offseason in Major League Baseball, and teams like the Seattle Mariners are getting ready for the 2013 season. I believe that there is one player that could be very key to any success that Seattle has in 2013. That player would be Jesus Montero, who will assume a full-time role as the team’s catcher.
Montero came over from the New York Yankees last offseason for Michael Pineda, who didn’t throw a single pitch in 2012 due to injury. Montero proved that he is a player that should have been in the big leagues before 2012 with his offensive output. Montero was the designated hitter a lot for Seattle last season and with Raul Ibanez now signed, Montero will have to be the main catcher for the Mariners. I wonder if the offensive numbers will go down for Montero having to catch almost every day. Seattle has a logjam of designated hitters, but if Montero can hold down the catcher position and hit 15-20 home runs and knock in 75-80 runs, it will be well worth it.
If Montero can prove he is an everyday catcher, he becomes an even bigger piece in the future for Seattle. Montero is going to be expected to hit in the middle of the Mariners lineup for years to come, and if Seattle can get some more pitching to go with their young everyday lineup, they could become a threat in the American League West sooner rather than later. It will be up to Montero though, and how well he does in his new role.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.