Mets Pitcher: Rafael Montero (2014-2016)

Rafael Quezada Montero was born October 17th 1990 in Higuerito, Banica Dominican Republic. The six foot right hander was signed by the New York Mets at the age of 20, getting a late pro start.

Montero began his career in 2011, going from the Rookie League to A ball Brooklyn. In just two games with the Cyclones, he was 1-0 allowing two  runs on three hits in five innings of work.

In 2012 he was 11-5 overall between Savannah & St. Lucie. He posted a 2.36 ERA striking out 110 batters in 110 innings making 20 starts.

He was invited to the Mets Spring Training camp in 2013, impressing people with his aggressiveness against big league hitters. Mets assistant GM Paul DePodesta said; "He didn't care, he went right after them".

Quotes: Montero said of getting to face major-league hitters- “I think it helped me last year, I knew what I had to work on. I am excited to do it again.”

In 2013 he was promoted to AA Binghamton, where he impressed going; 7-3 with 72 strike outs & just ten walks in 66 innings pitched, while posting a 2.43 ERA. He was promoted to the AAA level at Las Vegas. There he was 5-4 with a 3.05 ERA, 78 strike outs & 25 walks in 88 innings pitched. His overall 2013 numbers were 12-7 with a 2.78 ERA, 150 strike outs & 35 walks in 155 innings in 27 games.

Montero had an impressive early Spring Training in 2013, gaining a lot of attention behind the most popular prospect; Noah Syndergaard. He got the start in the first Spring Training game of 2014, pitching two scoreless innings at Port St. Lucie against the Washington Nationals.

He was ranked at #68 among all minor league prospects by Baseball America. He strikes out a lot of batters without using a blazing fastball, topping off in the low nineties. Most impressive, is that he walks very few batters, so far Montero has walked just 100 batters in 434 minor league innings through 2014. 

At AAA Las Vegas he went 6-4 with a 3.60 ERA, striking out 80 batters in 80 innings pitched.

Montero made his MLB debut on May 14th, replacing an injured Dillon Gee. He got a start in a subway series game at Citi Field. He pitched six innings but took a 4-0 loss, where he gave up three earned runs & five hits. His next start was against the L.A. Dodgers & didn't go well either, as he gave up five runs in 4.1 innings.

On May 25th he got no decision in a 2-1 loss to the Arizona d-backs. In six innings he allowed just one run on two hits, striking out an impressive ten batters. After four starts he was sent back to AAA Las Vegas to tune himself up & get ready for the big leagues.

He returned in mid August & was greeted back with a loss to the Nationals at Citi Field. He then pitched another fine game which resulted in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, this time he went into the 8th inning, allowing one run on five hits.

On September 10th, Montero earned his first career win, he went into the sixth inning, shutting out the Colorado Rockies, allowing just three hits with seven strike outs.

On September 27th he went into the 6th inning, allowing just one run, striking out six, in a 2-1 Mets win over the Houston Astros.

In ten games in 2015 he was 1-3 with a 4.06 ERA, with 42 strike outs & 23 walks in 44 innings of work. He did not pitch in the post season.

He began 2016 at AAA Las Vegas & got called up in mid April, replacing Eric Campbell on the roster. Montero made an April 16th relief appearance in Cleveland where he was roughed up for two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of work.

Later that week he gave up the only run in a Mets 11- romp at Philadelphia in another relief outing. His ERA was up at 11.57 with three runs on five hits in just 2.1 innings of work when he was sent back down to the minor leagues.

Montero once thought to be a better prospect than Jacob deGrom, was back in at AA ball after he struggled at AAA Las Vegas making 16 starts, going 4-6 while posting an ERA over seven. He then found himself at AA Binghamton from mid July to late August he had lowered his ERA to 1.70 in eight starts.

He was called up again to make a start on August 29th,, as the Mets chose to rest a fatigued Jacob deGrom, in a big game against the Miami Marlins. In nine games he was 0-1 with an 8.05 ERA, 20 strike outs & 16 walks in 19 innings.

In his three year career he is 1-5 with 75 strike outs & 44 walks in 73 innings of work, with a 5.15 ERA in 24 games (9 starts).


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