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Top Prospect Alert - Luis Montanez

By Robert Sherry

Luis Montanez: The number three overall selection by the Cubs in the June 2000 draft, he agreed to a prearranged deal before the draft (bonus of $2.75 million). He was able to then jump right into pro ball and the potential to eventually be very productive offense force in the majors.

In 2000, Montanez capped off a standout career at Coral Park High School in Miami (FL). He finished with a .431 average, seven home runs and 25 runs batted in during his senior year (33 games). He was assigned to the Arizona League and continued to hit, ending his time there with a .344 average, two home runs,  37 runs batted in, 16 doubles, seven triples, 50 runs scored, 25 walks, and 42 strikeouts in 192 at-bats (50 games), earning league MVP honors. The biggest negative was his 24 errors, but then that is almost the norm for players his age at that position, but there is always the chance that Montanez could eventually slide over to third base.

He only hit two homers, but at 6-foot and 165 pounds, you could project that number to increase as Montanez fills out. He has a very nice swing and should be a regular hitting .300+ in every league he plays in. In the field, Montanez has nice hands and a very strong arm. With the only possible negative being that his range may eventually come into question as he reaches the upper minors and majors. If so, you could always slide him over to third base.

Montanez finished off the season at Low-A Lansing, batting .138 with one double in 29 at-bats. His late season slump could probably be attributed to just wearing down from the long haul. Look for him back in Midwest League at Lansing to open 2001.


 

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