In part forty-one of my almost 50 part series “Better Know An Oriole” (otherwise known as 2009 Orioles Retrospective), I take a look at outfielder Lou Montanez… THE FIGHTIN’ MINOR LEAGUE MASHER!
Montanez had a shot of making the O’s as a fourth-outfielder coming into the season, but the addition of Felix Pie made that less likely. I projected Lou to get just 75 plate appearances with a .274/.326/.432 batting line in 2009.
The emergence of Nolan Reimold, along with an injury, cut into Montanez’s playing time, though he did finish with 91 PA. His .183/.244/.280 line looked ugly, but that was largely the result some bad luck: most notably a .215 BABIP and a 3.7% HR/FB rate. Still, a guy that rarely walks (just 5.7% of the time); doesn’t have a ton of power; and is largely limited to playing average-ish defense in an outfield corner (-10.3 UZR/150 career in LF, though it’s a very small sample size) just isn’t going to be that valuable to a team.
Montanez posted a -0.6 WAR this year and a -0.1 WAR last year, and despite his relative success in the minors, the 28 year-old probably won’t be able to break through for a spot in the outfield for the Orioles anytime soon.
Photo by Keith Allison and used under the Creative Commons License 2.0.