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Hello, My Name Is Miguel Montero

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Miguel Montero looked to bounce back from a depressing 2013 season. Would he have a year more in line with the extension he signed before last season?

How this works

Every other day, from now through to Christmas, we'll open up discussion on a particular player who made a meaningful contribution to the 2014 Diamondbacks. [I've drawn the line at 125 PA or 20 innings] There will be two sections. Firstly, a poll where you rate them from 5 ("Highly satisfied") down to 1 ("Very dissatisfied"): it's entirely up to you what criteria you use for the number. Secondly, the comments below, where you can talk about the reasons for your vote, etc. Things to discuss include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-season expectations
  • 2014 performance: strengths and weaknesses, etc.
  • Health and other mitigating factors
  • How they'll help the team in 2015, their role, etc.

Three days down the line, we'll collate the votes, calculate a final average score, and write up the consensus of SnakePit thought into an appraisal. Here is a quick overview of today's candidate for your consideration.

Additional bonus! Going forward. we'll also have a "Comment of the Thread" for the appraisal, so please rec the comments you find insightful, funny, or whatever.

Miguel Montero - C

  • DOB: 07/09/1983
  • 2014 salary: $10,000,000
  • 2014 performance: 136 G, 560 PA, .243 BA, .329 OBP, .370 SLG, 95 OPS+, 13 HR
  • 2014 value: 0.7 bWAR, 1.2 fWAR

It's funny how expectations can bias our thinking. In 2013 Miguel Montero was entering a big contract extension after 2 straight All-Star seasons. Even if you thought he wouldn't live up to the $10,000,000 a year, there was still a general hope and expectation that he'd contribute and continue his success.

Instead, Montero had a disastrous season, one that saw him eventually hit the DL and limited his plate appearances in the second.

Contrast this with his 2014 campaign: if still not earning his $10MM a year paycheck, it was a bounce-back season, right? Well, not quite. If you look at 2013 and 2014, the numbers aren't so far apart that you'd think it was a return to normal. bWAR between 2013 and 2014 was .5 vs .7, and fWAR was .9 vs 1.2.

2014 felt different first because of expectations (he couldn't possibly be as bad as 2013, right?), but also because he had a much hotter start. In 2013 Montero's first two months had sub .600 OPS, whereas in 2014 he had an OPS over .800 in both April and June. Even if the end result was similar, it felt different.

The reality is that Montero isn't earning his $10,000,000 contract. He's at the bottom in fWAR for catchers qualified for the batting title, and he's near the bottom in advanced defensive metrics (-7 DRS, 3rd from the bottom; 5.7 Fangraphs Defense, 4th from the bottom - meaning he only saved 5.7 runs by his defense).

It'd be one thing if the Diamondbacks were paying for bottom of the league performance at a bottom of the league price, but his $12MM average salary on the current contract puts him as 9th highest paid catcher in the game. And if recent trade rumors are any indication, the Diamondbacks FO is concerned about the situation.

What say you, SnakePit? Were you satisfied with the 2014 Miguel Montero? Or is his contract getting you down? Sound off in the comments below.