RAFAEL Quezade MONTERO
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   ASTROS
Height: 6' 0" Bats:   R
Weight: 190 Throws:   R
DOB: 10/17/1990 Agent: Independent Sports & Entertainment
Uniform #: 48  
Birth City: Higuerito, Banica, D.R.
Draft: 2011 - Mets - Free agent - Out of the D.R.
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2011 DSL DSL-Mets   4 18 7 20 0 4 0 0 0 1 1 0.119 1.00
2011 GCL GCL-Mets   7 31 28 32 6 4 0 0 1 1 2 0.228 1.45
2011 NYP BROOKLYN   2 5 3 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 0   3.60
2011 APP KINGSPORT   4 17 17 9 6 4 0 0 0 2 1   4.24
2012 FSL ST. LUCIE   8 50.2 35 56 11 8 1 0 0 5 2   2.13
2012 SAL SAVANNAH   12 71.1 61 54 8 12 0 0 0 6 3   2.52
2013 PCL LAS VEGAS   16 88.2 85 78 25 16 0 0 0 5 4 0.254 3.05
2013 EL BINGHAMTON   11 66.2 51 72 10 11 0 0 0 7 3 0.204 2.43
2014 GCL GCL-Mets   1 2 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   4.50
2014 FSL ST. LUCIE   1 4 2 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2014 PCL LAS VEGAS   16 80 69 80 34 16 0 0 0 6 4   3.60
2014 NL METS   10 44.1 44 42 23 8 0 0 0 1 3 0.257 4.06
2015 NL METS $511.00 5 10 9 13 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.225 4.50
2015 FSL ST. LUCIE   2 5 5 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 0   3.60
2015 GCL GCL-Mets   3 6 5 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2015 PCL LAS VEGAS   2 7.2 8 7 1 2 0 0 0 1 0   5.87
2016 EL BINGHAMTON   9 49 35 40 19 9 1 0 0 4 3   2.20
2016 PCL LAS VEGAS   16 80 111 68 40 16 0 0 0 4 6   7.20
2016 NL METS   9 19 23 20 16 3 0 0 0 0 1 0.299 8.05
2017 NL METS   34 119 141 114 67 18 0 0 0 5 11 0.306 5.52
2017 PCL LAS VEGAS   5 29 18 37 12 5 0 0 0 0 2   2.48
2018 - -                            
2019 PCL NASHVILLE   1 2.1 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0   0.00
2019 TL FRISCO   5 9 15 15 2 2 0 0 0 0 0   7.00
2019 AZL SURPRISE   5 7 2 12 0 3 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2019 AL RANGERS   22 29 23 34 5 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.217 2.48
2020 AL RANGERS $291.00 17 17.2 12 19 6 0 0 0 8 0 1 0.19 4.08
Personal
  • Montero grew up near the Haiti border and didn’t play much baseball until he moved to Santo Domingo at age 17.

  • Montero's unorthodox journey to the Mets began at age 17, when he decided to take baseball more seriously by moving from his hometown to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. As a result, though top Dominican free agents usually choose a big league suitor as soon as they turn 16, the Mets were able to nab Montero at age 20.

  • In 2011, the Mets signed Montero as a free agent, out of the D.R.
  • In 2011, his first pro season, Rafael pitched well and moved up quickly. In his four stops, his combined record was 5-4 with a 2.15 ERA, having allowed just 55 hits in 71 innings while striking out 66 and walking only 13.

  • In 2012, the Mets named Rafael their Sterling Pitcher of the Year after he was second in the minors in WHIP (0.94), fifth in K-BB ratio (5.8), and eighth in ERA (2.36).

  • In 2013, Montero ranked among the top 30 qualified minor league starters in K-BB ratio (4.29) and home run rate (0.35). This despite pitching his home games at the hitter’s haven that is Las Vegas in the second half—where he logged a 2.87 ERA a 1.11 WHIP in nine home starts.

  • In 2014, Baseball America rated as third-best prospect in the Mets organization. He was at #8 in the offseason before 2015 spring training.

  • Rafael has been slow at learning the English language. That is why he is considered pretty quiet.

  • Rafael has eight older brothers and only a first-grade education.

    TRANSACTIONS

  • In 2011, the Mets signed Montero as a free agent, out of the D.R.

  • November 3, 2018: Rafael became a free agent.

  • January 4, 2019: The Rangers signed free agent Rafael.

  • Jan 10, 2020: Montero and the Rangers avoided arbitration, by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $785,000.

  • Dec. 15, 2020: The Mariners acquired Montero from the Rangers for 17-year-old pitching prospect Jose Corniell and a PTBNL to Texas.

  • Jan 15, 2021: Montero and the Mariners avoided arbitration, by agreeing to a one-year deal for $2.25 million.

  • July 27, 2021: The Mariners traded RHP Kendall Graveman and RHP Rafael Montero to the Astros for RHP Joe Smith and 3B Abraham Toro
Pitching
  • Montero has a late-moving 91-96 mph four-seam FASTBALL. It has late hop, making it hard for hitters to pick up, and an 89-94 mph SINKER. His other pitches need to improve, including an 83-86 mph sharp-breaking SLIDER to keep hitters in check. But that slider would benefit from tighter rotation and greater depth. He also has an average 87-90 mph CHANGEUP that has lots of late fade away from the barrel of lefthanded hitters. (2014)

  • He pitches backwards sometimes because he trusts all three of his pitches. None of them are plus pitches, but he has a fearless approach and very good control. He likes to pitch backwards, unleashing his heater only after setting batters up with his fastball or changeup, locating either one on either side of the plate.

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 35.9% of the time; Sinker only 20% of the time; Change 23.2%; and Slider 20.8% of the time. 

    2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 38% of the time; Sinker 17.4% of the time; Change 19.5%; Slider 25% of the time.

    2018 Season Pitch Usage: Did not pitch.

    2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 39% of the time, his Sinker 7.8%; Change 39.4%; and Slider 13.7% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96 mph, Sinker 95.4, Change 90, and Slider 85.1 mph.

    2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 47.8% of the time, his Sinker 24.2%; Change 20.8%; and Slider 7.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96.4 mph, Sinker 95.2, Change 89.6, and Slider 86.4 mph.

  • Rafael throws strikes with all of his pitches. He is a strike-throwing machine. And he is more of a pitcher than a thrower. Montero's plus-plus command and poise are such assets that he defies convention.

  • He has a simple, fluid delivery that he repeats easily from a three-quarters arm slot. He repeats his arm action easily. That is part of why Montero has superb command of the strike zone, moving his heater in and out at will.

    He has immaculate mechanics, impressing the Mets and anyone else who sees Montero.

  • Montero has a very good idea how to pitch, he’s a strike thrower, he’s aggressive in the zone, he pitches to contact. What he doesn’t have at this point is a feel for his secondary stuff every time out. He is improving his slider and changeup.

  • His demeanor on the mound is impressive. He has poise. Montero’s work ethic and mound presence stand out as much as his stuff. With long arms and loose limbs, he pounds the zone, working both sides of the plate.

    Montero has a fearless approach.

  • Rafael keeps the ball in the park, rarely giving up a home run.

  • In 2020, the 30-year-old Montero served as the Rangers’ closer, going 8-for-8 in save opportunities. He had a 4.08 ERA in 17.2 innings over 17 appearances.

  • Regarded as a Top 100 prospect in 2014 after signing as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic, Montero pitched parts of four seasons with the Mets from 2014-2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. In 2019, he signed as a free agent with Texas and had a 2.48 ERA in 29 innings over 22 appearances after being promoted to the Rangers in July.

    In 97 career outings, including 30 starts with the Mets, Montero owns a 4.93 ERA with 242 strikeouts and 122 walks in 239 innings. He features a fastball that averaged 95.8 mph last year, per Statcast, as well as a hard sinker, changeup and occasional slider.

    “Rafael is a solid addition to our ongoing efforts to fortify the bullpen,” GM Dipoto said. “We see his outstanding stuff and quality performance since converting to a full-time reliever as impactful in our bullpen.”

    In his two seasons since recovering from elbow surgery, Montero is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and 53 strikeouts with 11 walks in 46.2 innings.

    Montero earned a prorated portion of his $785,000 salary with Texas and is entering his second season of arbitration eligibility, meaning he’s under team control for two more seasons before free agency.

    Dipoto’s primary goal this offseason is to add experienced late-inning options to his bullpen, and Montero figures to be an immediate help there. (G Johns - MLB.com - Dec 15, 2020)

  • As of the start of the 2021 season, Rafael has a career record of 8-17 with 4.93 ERA, having allowed 31 home runs and 252 hits in 239 innings.
Career Injury Report
  • August 10, 2012: Montero was shut down by the Mets after he reached his innings limit of 125.

  • April 1-May 14, 2014: Montero was on the D.L.

    June 15, 2014: Rafael was back on the D.L. with a strained left oblique.

  • April 30-end of 2015 season: Montero went on the D.L. with inflammation in his rotator cuff. 

  • March 22-end of 2018 season: Rafael suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, necessitating season-ending Tommy John surgery. 

  • July 23-Aug 7, 2020: Montero was on the IL with right elbow tendonitis.