Montero Picking Up Where He Left Off

Jesus Montero hit two home runs in two games

Jesus Montero was in the midst of another stellar season in 2009, especially after hitting .373 after the Eastern League All Star break, when a broken finger on August 1st ended his season prematurely. He not only bounced back quickly by showing up healthy to Instructs just several weeks later, but he immediately proved he had not missed a beat.

"I feel like I'm getting a little bit better," a modest Jesus Montero said after Friday's Instructional League finale against the Pirates. "I'm feeling really good.

"My body is feeling good again. I had two months where I didn't play but everything's going good again. I'm just trying to work hard right now to be ready really fast."

Most hitters would beg for the kind of season Montero had, hitting a combined .337 with 25 doubles and 17 home runs between high-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, and Montero did it in just 337 at-bats.

And when a broken middle finger on his left hand put him on the shelf for the remainder of the 2009 season, most observers were curious how he would bounce back from the injury in 2010.

Just two months later, however, he responded in a big way and put to rest any concerns over his finger with his showing at Instructs. Playing in just two games, Montero hit a huge home run in each game, picking up right where he left off.

"I don't know how I did that," he said humbly. "I've just been trying to hit the ball hard and those things can happen. Those things happened and I feel really happy."

Not only did he swing his normally powerful bat, but he also caught both games and showed no lingering effects of the broken finger he sustained back at the beginning of August.

"It's feeling really good right now," he reiterated. " I don't feel any pain, thank God. I get to go to Venezuela and play out there this year and thank God it's going really good right now so I can go out there to play."

Scheduled to make up for lost time by playing in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason, Montero is excited about preparing for next season.

"This is going to be my first time," he added. "I'm really happy. My family is going to get to see me play every single day. My friends too. They are waiting for me to go down there to see me play."

And with how he has quickly bounced back to mid-season form in just a couple of Instructional League games, he believes he's ready to go on both sides of the ball.

"I think I need to practice really hard for one more week and I'll get ready really fast. I just want to catch more, more, more. My bat is there, thank God, so I just want to get into my [catching] routine so I can be ready for next year," he concluded.

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