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First Pitch: The Montero Myth

Jesus Montero's Yankees career ended before it barely started, so the view of him as a player is more imagination than reality.

Yes, Montero's 61 at-bats were impressive last year. He hit. .328. Four of his 20 hits were homers and led to 12 RBIs. He has the potential to have an explosive bat for a long time.

But there seems to be a view that Montero is a combination of Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez -- Babe Jeteriguez.

Let's go over those numbers again: 61 at-bats, 20 hits, four homers and 12 RBIs.

So with all the analysis on Michael Pineda, let's not forget this trade was potential for potential -- nothing more, nothing less.

If the trade was made in the middle of last year, it would have looked like one of the biggest steals ever. Pineda, leading the league in velocity, went to the All-Star Game and stuck out Scott Rolen and Rickie Weeks in pitching a perfect third.

Meanwhile, Montero struggled for much of his Triple-A season and only hit .288 overall. Some thought he was bored.

Even now, not many think Montero can catch in the majors. The Yankees claim he can. The Mariners are going to give it a try. But no one knows.

If Montero is a DH, he better be the next Miguel Cabrera. If he is a just a better-than-average hitter, but not among the elite of the elite, he is not that special if he is not behind the plate.

So when you judge the 23-year-old Pineda vs. the 22-year-old Montero, remember that Montero isn't Babe Jeteriquez -- at least, not yet. He has some growing to do, too.

No doubt, Pineda needs to find his velocity. He could end up in the minors to start. But the winner of this trade will not be decided at the end of the April. It is a long-term proposition that right now is going a little slower than expected.

ON DECK: The clubhouse opens at 8:10 a.m. The Yankees face the Nationals again. Most of the big guys should be in the lineup, as they didn't trek to Viera on Thursday. We will be on the blog all day. Thanks for reading.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you think Montero will hit better than .280 with 20 homers and 85 RBIs or worse?