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Daniel Montaño has arrived and you should be excited

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, July 21st, 2022

If you look at our 2022 pre-season PuRPs rankings, you won’t find Colorado Rockies minor league outfielder Daniel Montaño there. He’s not on MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Rockies prospects either. The photo libraries we use for articles were bereft of his picture, and the only ones available for this article date back to 2016. If you don’t follow the Rockies farm system closely, you might not be familiar with Montaño at all.

It’s time for that to change.

Daniel Montaño signed with the Rockies as an international free agent in 2015 out of Maracay, Venezuela. He joined the Rockies Dominican Summer League (DSL) team for the 2016 season and—while his batting average was a low .228—he showed promise for getting on base and hitting the ball with authority. That season he slashed .228/.325/.427 with 17 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, and 32 RsBI. He also drew 31 walks to his 65 strikeouts. In 2017 he posted a solid .778 OPS with the DSL Rockies while striking out less for his age 18 season.

2018 saw Montaño get his first taste of baseball in the United States. After 11 games with the DSL Rockies to start the year Montaño was promoted to the then-Rookie League Grand Junction Rockies. Now heads were turning. Montaño made MLB Pipeline’s top 30 prospects for the Rockies at no. 19 as he slashed a strong .279/.338/.433 in 62 games with Grand Junction. He hit double digit doubles at 15, hit a career high five triples, and slugged four home runs. He also put his speed to work with nine stolen bases and continued to draw walks at a steady clip with 21 to his 57 strikeouts. Montaño stayed on the top 30 prospects list for the 2019 season.

2019 was not a good season for Daniel Montaño. Assigned to the full season A-level Asheville Tourists, he played the most games in a single season so far in his professional career. He also put up some of the worst numbers in his professional career. Slashing .218/.274/.344, Montaño drew 3 walks... but struck out 119 times. The positives of the season came with his 40 extra base hits—30 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs—and his 17 stolen bases. He did stay on the top 30 organization prospect list for 2020, dropping down to no. 23. When the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, Montaño dropped off the prospect list for 2021.

It doesn’t seem like Daniel Montaño got the memo that he was no longer considered a top prospect, because he hit the ground running in 2021 while playing like a future superstar. He hasn’t really slowed down since then either. He kicked off the 2021 season with the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies, where he slashed .301/.380/.446 with nine doubles, three triples, four home runs, another 20+ walks, and six stolen bases over 52 games. His efforts earned him a midseason promotion to the High-A Spokane Indians. With Spokane his numbers dipped slightly with a .283/.353/.337 line, but he continued to produce. He struck out just 47 times and drew 20 walks in 44 games while hitting another seven doubles and one more triple.

Now in his age 23 season, Montaño started the 2022 season with Spokane. He didn’t stay in the Pacific Northwest for long. After 32 games he was hitting .321/.420/.523. He only struck out 25 times and drew 20 walks. He only hit one home run but knocked another seven doubles and a triple. He was named the Rockies organization’s Player of the Month. The Rockies organization had seen enough, and on May 31st they would promote Montaño to the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats as his next challenge.

To say Daniel Montaño has taken to Hartford well would be an understatement. While his numbers have once again dipped with the move up—like they did when he moved from Fresno to Spokane—they are still incredibly solid for a young player during his first time in the upper half of the minor leagues. Over 36 games and 163 plate appearances so far with the Yard Goats, Montaño is hitting .272/.383/.493 with ine doubles and seven home runs. He is still drawing plenty of walks with 24 to his 46 strikeouts. He’s got the team’s second best OPS for batters with over 100 plate appearances. His .875 OPS puts him right behind top prospect Ezequiel Tovar.

Daniel Montaño is part of a very exciting Rockies farm system that deserves more credit than it gets. He’s not a nationally known prospect, but he’s been playing like one since 2021 and that’s something for Rockies fans to be incredibly excited about. If you didn’t know about him before, you do now. Hopefully the baseball world as a whole will know Daniel Monaño’s name very soon.

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Brewers series could be a deadline game-changer | Rox Pile

The Rockies start the second half of the season seven games below .500 with a 43-50 record. They’ll play a four game series against the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers, who are 50-43. While the Rockies seem to be mired in another losing season, they have gone 7-3 in their last ten games to provide fans with a little hope. General Manager Bill Schmidt has already said the Rockies won’t be big sellers at the deadline, but this series in Milwaukee could help set the course on what—if anything—the Rockies will do come August 2nd.

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On The Farm

There are no minor league baseball games scheduled during the All-Star Break. Arizona Complex League ball will resume today and all other minor league levels will resume tomorrow.

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