Just in time for the New Year, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with number seven and work all the way to number one. This week will mark our final Seven in Seven series of the winter, and we will take a look at the seven best prospects in the Mets farm system. We will continue our countdown with the sixth best prospect in the Met farm system, which is starting pitcher Rafael Montero.
6. SP Rafael Montero
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent January 20, 2011
History: Rafael Montero was one of the first international free agents Sandy Alderson signed after becoming the Mets general manager. Montero was sent to the Mets' Dominican League academy in 2011, and he rapidly progressed through the lower levels of the Mets' farm system in 2011. After starting the 2012 season with the Savannah Sand Gnats, Montero impressed Mets' brass again and was promoted to High-A Port St. Lucie towards the end of the season. Montero made eight starts for the St. Lucie Mets, going 5-2 with a 2.13 ERA. Montero was shut down prior to the end of the 2012 season after he reached 122 innings pitched for the year. This was simply a routine maneuver to protect his arm from being overworked. Montero, 22, is poised to become a rapid riser in the Mets farm system.
Pros: Fastball touches 95 miles per hour, Solid Breaking Pitches, Great Control
Cons: Needs to Build Arm Strength
Major League ETA: 2014
With all the talk of the young arms in the Mets' farm system, Rafael Montero gets lost in the shuffle. Montero has rapidly developed into a potential front line starter, and his impeccable control has helped him dominate the lower levels. Montero has been turning heads in spring training, so it is likely he will start the 2013 campaign at Double-A Binghamton. While it remains unlikely Montero will sniff the big league level this year, he could force his way into the mix by 2014.
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