Phillies Prospect #26: Carlos Monasterios

Carlos Monasterios will have a pretty big spotlight on him thanks to the fact that he was part of the deal that sent Bobby Abreu to the New York Yankees. So far, Monasterios has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm that the Phillies had for him when they made the deal.

Whenever a team trades one of its top players, the guys coming back in return face a lot of scrutiny. As the key pitcher in the deal, Carlos Monasterios will be under the microscope as fans look to judge whether the deal was a good one for the Phillies. There is no denying that Monasterios has a lot of talent and at just 20 years of age, he could be a young phenom just waiting to blast off. Success for Monasterios would make the Bobby Abreu deal with the Yankees look much better when all is said and done.

The Yankees had Monasterios pitch in the Dominican Summer League before bringing him to the states for his debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2006. The Phillies kept him in the GCL, preferring to keep him as acclimated and comfortable as possible in the new organization.

Carlos Monasterios' career stats

'06 Yankees GCL 1 2 2.97 2 7 3 30.1 23 12 10 2 3 24
'06 Phillies GCL 0 2 3.68 0 4 3 14.2 18 7 6 1 3 11
TOTALS 1 4 3.20 2 11 6 45.0 41 19 16 3 6 35

Acquired: Came to the Phillies in a deal with the New York Yankees in July of 2006. The deal sent Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for Monasterios, C.J. Henry, Matt Smith and Jesus Sanchez. Monasterios was originally signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in September of 2004.

Repertoire: Most scouts believed that Monasterios already had one of the best curveballs in the Yankees' system at the time of the trade. His fastball reaches the mid-90s with consistency and his change-up is already very good and getting even better. The Phillies would like for him to learn a slider that he can at least throw on occasion, but won't push it too hard since his other pitches are so good.

Pitching: Monasterios is still pretty raw, but has shown a lot of talent. It's likely that the Phillies will put him in a starting rotation and groom him as a starter, although it appears that he's comfortable pitching in any role that he's given. He was a little shaken by the trade and tried to do too much and throw too hard when he came to the Phillies, but with time, he'll settle in and return to form. Even though he was a little out of sorts with the Phillies, he still pitched very well and has the potential to become a very good major league pitcher down the road.

Projection: With three good pitches, Monasterios could become as much as a number two starter in the majors. The further away from the Bobby Abreu trade that he gets, the more comfortable he'll be and the better he's likely to pitch. This spring will determine where Monasterios starts the season since he could jump as high as Low-A Lakewood or stay back in extended camp and join Williamsport when their season begins in June. He turns 21 in May and has some time to develop, so keeping him back early in the season isn't out of the question especially since scouts believe that once he starts to move, he'll progress quickly and won't need more than about a season per level in the minors.


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