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Whatever Happened To That Dude?

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Miguel Montero, Catcher, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

written by: RedSox4Devers

Miguel Montero was born on July 9, 1983, in Venezuela, the youngest of three children. Growing up his parents instilled a strong work ethic and a never give up attitude. Miguel and his family were avid baseball fans growing up. In 2001, Montero achieved his dream of being a professional baseball player when the Arizona Diamondbacks signed him as an undrafted free agent.

After 5 years in the minor leagues, Montero made his Major League debut on September 6, 2006, vs. the Florida Marlins. Unfortunately, in his first game he went hitless, as Anibal Sanchez pitched a no-hitter. Montero played a total of 6 games that season, resulting in a .250 batting average.

In the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Montero split time at catcher with Chris Snyder. Batting .224 with 10 Homeruns and .255 with 5 homeruns respectively. The 2009 season started rough for Montero, having just a .200 BA and 3 homeruns throughout the first two months of the season. However, in July Chris Snyder went down with an injury, giving Montero full time catching duties. By the end of the season, he finished with a career-high .299 BA and 16 homeruns.

By the 2010 season Miguel had solidified himself as the D’backs full-time catcher. On June 25, 2010, he caught Edwin Jackson’s no-hitter. Montero had a strong season at the plate too, finishing the year with a .266 batting average and 9 home runs. In 2011, he had his best season as catcher, batting .272 with 10 home runs and 49 rbis. He also threw out a career-high 40% of base-stealers, earning himself his first All-Star Game Selection. Three years later, he would be selected to his second All-Star Game, where he was the stand-in for an injured Yadier Molina

Following the 2014 season, the Diamondbacks traded Montero to the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers. His first two seasons with the Cubs were unremarkable aside from on August 30, 2015, Montero was the catcher for Jake Arrietta’s no-hitter against the Los Angelas Dodgers.

During Game 1 of the 2016 NLCS against those same LA Dodgers, Montero came in to bat with the bases loaded in the 8th inning. The game was tied 3-3, Miguel hit a grand slam, which lead to an eventual 8-4 victory and set the tone for the NLCS. It was just the 3rd pinch-hit grand slam in postseason history.

Montero hits grand-slam vs. LA Dodgers 2016 NLCS

The Cubs would go on to win the NLCS and face the Cleveland Guardians in the World Series. Again, Montero had some late game pinch-hit heroics. In the bottom of the 9th Miguel Montero came into the game as a defensive substitute for David Ross, having only hit 1-11 .091 (the grand slam in the NLCS being his only hit) for the whole post-season. In the top of the 10th, Montero came up to bat and hit a single, driving in 1st Baseman Anthony Rizzo. Cleveland would only score 1 run in the bottom set, so Montero’s RBI Single was the game winning hit.

Montero’s Game Winning Single vs. Cleveland

Following the series, Montero expressed his displeasure of being held to back-up status behind both David Ross and Wilson Contreas. On June 27, 2017, the Washinton Nationals went 7-for-7 with stolen bases against Montero, who ultimately blamed pitcher Jake Arrietta. These comments didn’t sit well with the clubhouse, Anthony Rizzo felt his comments were disrespectful towards Arrietta.

“It really sucked because the stolen bases go to me, and when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time,” Montero said. “So, it’s just like, ‘Yeah, OK, Miggy can’t throw nobody out,’ but my pitcher doesn’t hold anybody on.”

Montero, on giving up 7 stolen bases vs. the Nationals

The next day Montero was designated for assignment. On July 3, 2017, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash and a player to be named later. The rest of Miggy’s career was uneventful, playing Minor League ball for both the Jays and the Nationals. On December 10, 2018, he announced his retirement from baseball.

Montero is now the CEO of ZT Sports, a sports management company based in Phoenix, Arizona. He has 17 clients, and he is enjoying life with his wife, who became a U.S Citizen with Miguel in 2017. Miguel and his wife, Vanessa also run the Miguel and Vanessa Montero Foundation, which helps provide medical assistance to critically ill children in Venezuela.



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