Detroit Tigers add Keider Montero to the 40-man roster.
The Detroit Tigers are going to have to make some decisions in the coming weeks about the Rule 5 Draft. For Detroit, this means shifting around their 40-man roster. Keider Montero has been added to the 40-man roster after Detroit selected his contract.
The right-handed pitcher has been with the Detroit Tigers organization since signing with them out of Venezuela. Montero was set to hit the MiLB free agent market as his minor league contract was expiring, so the Tigers opted to bring him in, adding him to the big league roster.
In 2023, Montero has played with three of the team's affiliates. Most of his time was spent with the Double-A Erie squad, with a jump up to Triple-A Toledo as well, and a couple of starts with High-A West Michigan.
In High-A, Montero made four starts where he pitched to a 2.81 ERA over 16.0 innings of work. He allowed ten hits, walked four, and struck out 22 opposing hitters.
In Double-A, Montero made 15 starts with the Erie SeaWolves. He accumulated 15 starts, pitching to a 4.93 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He allowed 73 hits, walked 31 opposing hitters, and struck out 91 hitters along the way as well. He had 69.1 innings pitched in 2023.
Montero also got a couple of chances in Triple-A, making eight appearances with seven starts. He managed a 4.93 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP over 42.0 innings of work. He allowed 42 hits, walked 14, and struck out 47 opposing hitters.
The 23-year-old pitcher has been a starter with a 6-foot-1, 145-pound frame. It's a more lean and slender build, with room to keep adding some strength to the build. He has a simple and repeatable delivery from the wind-up.
He shows a fastball in the mix with some arm-side run to it. The pitch can get some ride near the top of the zone, missing bats. He has a depthy slider with a shorter bite and tilt to it that allows him to land it for strikes. The changeup he uses to round out the pitch mix has some depth to it, fading arm-side.
Overall, Montero makes his living on the mound, attacking up in the zone. I could not find any data showing his vertical attack angle (VAA), but I'd venture it's favorable for him to live up in the zone from a three-quarters arm slot.
The point is that he has the tools in how he attacks hitters and a viable pitch mix; he just needs to continue working through the minors and showing his stuff. He's been a starter in the minors, and now he's on the 40-man, which means it will come down to squeezing value out of him when his time comes.
He'll likely stay with Triple-A Toledo in 2024 if all goes well, but the Tigers can surely test Montero at some point. He may be better served as a reliever in the long term, but he has a three-pitch mix that can induce whiffs, so it's worth keeping him around to see what he can do.