Last week, you may have read about a a Cardinals 3rd base prospect with potentially elite offensive tools, both hitting for contact and power, who was rocketing through multiple levels of the minor league system in his teens, and only hampered by questions about his long-term defensive viability at 3rd.
That was Nolan Gorman, but it’s also all true for Elehuris Montero.
The pair aren’t just neck-and-neck in the Cardinals system. Baseball America has Gorman #75 and Montero #81 in their Preseason 2019 rankings.
Montero is basically one level ahead of Gorman in the system. Whereas Gorman tore up Johnson City and then stalled a bit in 100 plate appearances at Low-A Peoria, Montero spent the first few months of the season at Peoria destroying the Midwest League, then fell-off just slightly in 100 PAs at High-A Palm Beach.
Across two levels, Montero posted a monster .315 / .371 / .504 line. Though not quite as young as Gorman, Montero only turned 20 in August, and remains quite young for his level.
And what will that level be? You can cast your vote below, but I’ll tell you what I expect. If the team wants to be conservative, it would certainly make sense to start him back at High-A Palm Beach, which he only got a taste of last season. But the team has shown a willingness to be aggressive with young talent, especially those with the polished hitting approach of Montero. It’s not out of the question that we could see Montero start in or very quickly ascend to AA.