Per a tweet from Mets public relations director Jay Horwitz, Rafael Montero has been promoted from AA Binghamton to AAA Las Vegas and will make his debut with the 51’s tomorrow. Montero, 22, had a 2.43 ERA in 66.2 innings pitched while with Binghamton. He struck out 72 while walking only 10.
Earlier this season, Montero had a cup of coffee with AAA, coming up for a spot start. Montero was tremendous during that dress rehearsal, giving up 2 runs over 6.2 innings while striking out 5 and walking none.
During an appearance on WFAN earlier this week, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson hinted that Montero might skip AAA entirely. Alderson noted that if Montero wasn’t promoted to AAA soon, one could infer from that lack of promotion that Montero would be going directly to the majors from AA. With today’s callup, the door has been shut on that possibility.
Montero, who’s listed as being 6’0″, 180 pounds, is known for his impeccable control. His smallish frame has led some scouts to suggest that his eventual role will be in the bullpen, but he’s simply been too good to this point for that to be a consideration at the present time.
Montero works primarily off his fastball, which sits in the low 90’s and can touch 95 MPH. He also mixes in a slider and a developing changeup.
Because Montero isn’t on the Mets’ 40-man roster (and doesn’t have to be added until after the season), it’s unclear whether the team will call him up to the majors this year.
If the Mets call Montero up later this season, he’d come into spring training next year with a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation. If they keep him in AAA for the remainder of the season, the Mets will likely do with Montero next year what they just did with Zack Wheeler: wait for the Super 2 date to pass before promoting him to the majors.