There were several key re-signings for the Diamondbacks during the offseason. The team avoided arbitration with Ryan Roberts and re-signed Joe Saunders among others. None of those signing were bigger than the signing of catcher Miguel Montero.
Montero played in 140 games in 2011 and posted a .282 batting average, with 18 home runs, drove in 86 runs, struck out 97 times, and had .469 slugging average. More important than his batting statistics is catching the pitching staff. Montero caught 134 games, starting in 131, and only committing 11 errors in those games. He threw out 32 of a potential 48 base stealers and had 908 put outs defensively. Montero handled a young, yet talented pitching staff and it is the best thing for the staff is to him back there. His presence solidifies the pitching staff and should allow them to continue to improve dramatically.
It is a good thing Montero and the D-backs were able to avoid arbitration and come to terms on a new deal because the No. 2 catcher on the Diamondbacks is Henry Blanco. Blanco had a decent year behind Montero, hitting .250 with 12 RBI’s and eight home runs in 37 games. Unfortunately Blanco is a 14-year veteran who is just alright as a back-up, but nothing more. That is why the Montero signing is so key to the Diamondbacks’ success.
According to the MLB.com 2012 player previews, Montero is projected at 113 in the league, with a .272 batting average, 67 runs scored, 81 RBIs, and 16 home runs. If the Diamondbacks can get this kind of success this season from Montero, they have a really good chance at repeating as NL West Champions and making a deep run into the playoffs.
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