Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Mets News: ESPN: Warthen says Rafael Montero is "Smooth"
From ESPN NY:
While watching right-hander Rafael Montero throwing live batting practice Tuesday, Dan Warthen uttered two words to the bullpen catcher standing next to him.
“[Expletive] smooth!” the pitching coach excitedly said.
Warthen repeatedly has said this spring training that the 23-year-old Montero possesses as close to a perfect delivery as any in the game.
His fastball generally resides in the low-90s, but he has more in the tank when required.
“I talk to guys on other teams, like in Triple-A,” said Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who faced Montero in Tuesday’s batting practice. “Come August and September, they’re just like, ‘That guy has an extra gear. His fastball has got an extra gear I can’t get to right now.’”
Said Juan Lagares, who also batted against Montero on Tuesday: “He always tries to keep the ball down and he throws a lot of strikes. It’s not too easy to hit against him, because always he keeps it down in the strike zone. He doesn’t miss too much up.”
Nieuwenhuis, a lefty hitter, said Montero can be particularly tough on those batters.
“He must have long fingers or something, because when it comes out, for a lefty it kind of looks like it’s going to sneak in on you,” Nieuwenhuis said, adding that two-seamer eventually darts back over the plate.
SNY Video on Montero: