Montero Progressing

Montero held Charleston to one unearned run

Rafael Montero is a described by Savannah pitching coach Frank Viola as a "strike thrower." Viola also noted Montero has a host of other skills that make him a strong competitor.

"He establishes a strike zone [and] just goes right after the hitters," Viola said before Monday's start against Charleston. "He throws his fastballs in the zone. He's got a slider that improving. He is really working on his overall game."

The Dominican Republic native spent some time last season in Brooklyn before being transferred to Savannahthis season. Montero currently has a 3.05 ERA after limiting a very potent Charleston lineup to just one unearned run on Monday night.

During the offseason, Montero spent a lot of time building on his skills and working hard to prepare for a long season.

"I worked hard," Montero said through the help of a translator. "I put on a couple pounds. I also worked on [my] changeup and slider."

Coach Viola believes Montero has big league potential, and says there is one key thing he needs to make it to the next level.

"The one thing he is lacking is experience," Viola said. "He is doing what he needs to do; he is improving each time out."

Viola describes Montero as a very quite individual, but says he speaks volumes on the field with his play.

"He has more personality on the mound," Viola added. "By that I mean when he's out there, you know he's out there. Once you break that shell and get to know him a little bit as a person, you realize there is a lot more in there than you know."

Montero has a strong breaking ball that Viola believes will improve as time progresses.

"Each time out it's getting better and better," he said. "It's a little inconsistent right now. He's young. Everything is there to make him a dominating pitcher."

One of Montero's biggest moments this season came against the Rome Braves. Montero tallied a season-high seven strikeouts in six shutout innings where he surrendered just three hits and no walks.

"I felt really good going through it and thank God I pitched through six innings," Montero said.

Coach Viola believes that Montero is developing many skills that will allow him to be fully equipped at the next level.

"When he gets to the big league, which there is no question in my mind, he can take all these little lessons and use them," Viola concluded.

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