All this guy has done his entire career is rake. Yet, for some reason people underestimate him and think he will be a bench bat or backup C at best. Personally, Lavarnway is the prospect I am most excited about in our entire system. Why is it that Lavarnway is not considered a high ranking prospect, yet Jesus Montero is one of the best prospects in the game? I understand that Montero is younger than Lavarnway, but look at their career numbers.
Lavarnway – 466 PA - .285/.367/.540 with 21 HR, 87 RBI and 2.26 K/BB
Montero – 569 PA - .326/.376/.491 with 17 HR, 87 RBI and 2.24 K/BB
Lavarnway – 360 PA - .289/.392/.487 with 14 HR, 63 RBI and 1.41 K/BB
Montero – 198 PA - .356/.406/.583 with 8 HR, 37 RBI and 1.86 K/BB
Lavarnway – 429 PA - .283/.375/.503 with 22 HR, 77 RBI and 1.75 K/BB
Montero – 181 PA - .317/.370/.539 with 9 HR, 33 RBI and 1.5 K/BB
Lavarnway – 35 PA - .344/.400/.625 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 3 K/BB
Montero – 756 PA - .290/.348/.480 with 26 HR, 101 RBI and 2.4 K/BB
Lavarnway – 1372 PA - .283/.374/.506 with 61 HR, 243 RBI and 1.87 K/BB
Montero – 1827 PA - .310/.366/.497 with 63 HR, 277 RBI and 2.13 K/BB
Those stats look surprisingly similar. Some may disagree and say that Montero’s stats look better, and that may be true, but is it a large enough difference to warrant Montero being the #3 prospect in the MLB pre-2011 and Lavarnway not even sniffing any “experts” top prospects list. For god’s sake the guy is barely inside the SoxProspects top ten and is #6 on OTM. The way I see it is that Montero is a better hitter for average, but Lavarnway has more pop and knows how to take a walk better than Montero.
Yes, Montero is younger but right now they are at the same level of the minors and succeeding at similar levels. Why are they viewed so differently in the eyes of baseball prospect watchers? Is it because Lavarnway has questions defensively? He’s thrown out 31% of baserunners while Montero has only thrown out 21%. Montero has let up 44 passed balls in 305 games (.144/G) at catcher. Lavarnway has given up 42 in 160 games (.263/G) but that is heavily influenced by his first full season catching professional baseball. Since then he has only given up 15 in 116 games (.129/G). He is a better defensive catcher than Montero, as good, if not better, than Montero with the bat, but he gets no love on a national scale.
To me, Lavarnway is a star in the making. A middle of the order right handed bat that for some reason everyone is looking over. If I were another franchise, I would be calling Theo trying to gauge how impressed he is with this kid and try to nab him while the value is still low. Come next year when he gets his shot in the big leagues and continues to rake like he has his whole career, he won’t go unnoticed then. I think its time we start getting excited about this guys potential and start treating him as the amazing prospect that he is.