Rafael Montero

Rafael Montero

32-Year-Old PitcherRP
Houston Astros
2023 Fantasy Outlook
A post-hype breakout at age 31? Montero was a surprising contributor to Houston's league-best bullpen, quickly establishing himself as the Astros setup man and backup closer after a phenomenal start to 2022. The right-hander added velocity to all four of his pitches, yielding excellent results across 68.1 innings. He posted career marks in saves (14), holds (23) and ERA (2.37) while ranking highly across most Statcast metrics. In particular, Montero's 2.9% barrel percentage was sixth-best in the league and within the 99th percentile. His well-timed outputs during a contract year earned him a 3-year, $34.5 million deal to return to Houston, where he will presumably pitch the eighth inning again and back up Ryan Pressly. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a three-year, $34.5 million contract with the Astros in November of 2022.
Remaining in Houston
PHouston Astros
November 12, 2022
Montero signed a three-year, $34.5 million deal to return to the Astros on Saturday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Montero's emergence as a trustworthy high-leverage option helped the Astros to a World Series title. The veteran righty carried a career 5.18 ERA and 1.56 WHIP into last season but finished the year with a 2.37 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He also saved a career-high 14 games. The Astros have fully bought into this new version of Montero and now have him under contract through the end of his age-34 season. He should remain in a setup role behind Ryan Pressly to start the year but could claim the closer job if Pressly struggles or gets injured.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
16
Last 10 Games
17
Last 5 Games
17
How many pitches does Rafael Montero generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Rafael Montero generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-24%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-31%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-11%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-19%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .199 254 53 26 44 11 0 6
Since 2020vs Right .261 309 81 20 73 13 2 3
2022vs Left .157 132 34 15 18 4 0 2
2022vs Right .227 138 39 8 29 3 1 1
2021vs Left .276 89 12 10 21 6 0 3
2021vs Right .309 136 30 7 38 7 0 1
2020vs Left .167 33 7 1 5 1 0 1
2020vs Right .207 35 12 5 6 3 1 1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-57%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-47%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-57%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-72%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 2.67 1.00 81.0 4 2 20 9.2 2.3 0.4
Since 2020Away 6.24 1.54 53.1 6 5 9 8.6 4.2 0.8
2022Home 1.76 0.88 41.0 1 1 9 9.7 2.4 0.2
2022Away 3.29 1.24 27.1 4 1 5 9.5 4.0 0.7
2021Home 4.08 1.26 28.2 3 1 5 7.5 2.2 0.6
2021Away 9.58 1.94 20.2 2 3 2 7.8 4.4 0.9
2020Home 2.38 0.79 11.1 0 0 6 11.9 2.4 0.8
2020Away 8.44 1.50 5.1 0 1 2 6.8 5.1 1.7
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Rafael Montero compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
3.17
 
K/9
9.6
 
BB/9
3.0
 
HR/9
0.4
 
Fastball
96.3 mph
 
ERA
2.37
 
WHIP
1.02
 
BABIP
.269
 
GB/FB
2.07
 
Left On Base
72.9%
 
Exit Velocity
81.2 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
1.8%
 
Spin Rate
2261 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
19.8%
 
Swinging Strike
12.0%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2015
2014
Forearm soreness delayed Montero's debut until early August. He notched saves right away in his first two appearances and became a hot pickup in fantasy leagues. Montero earned saves in his first five outings and eight of his first 12, with last of those saves coming Sept. 12. Texas didn't afford another chance the final two weeks. Montero did not fare well in non-save situations, so his 2.13 ERA on Sept. 12 bloated to 4.08 by season's end. A former starter converted to relief following 2018 Tommy John surgery, Montero still deploys a four-pitch arsenal featuring a fastball and sinker in excess of 95 mph. He has closer stuff but hasn't shown durability since going under the knife -- he would have missed significant time last season if not for the shutdown. Montero looks like the Mariners' closer on paper after a December trade to Seattle, but the health risk renders him more of a CL2.
Montero was outrighted by the Mets after missing all of 2018 following Tommy John surgery. The Rangers signed him to a minor-league deal, and upon his return in late July, Montero looked like a new man. The right-hander averaged 95.8 mph on his fastball -- two ticks above his previous career high -- and threw his changeup more to great results. He struck out nearly seven batters for every one he walked, leading to a top-25 K-BB% among all relievers who threw at least 20 innings. The long ball was an issue and he enjoyed some good fortune with a 95.7% left-on-base rate, but Montero reestablished himself at the MLB level and positioned himself for a key role near the back of the Texas bullpen in 2020. With Emmanuel Clase traded, and given incumbent closer Jose Leclerc's fits of wildness, it's not crazy to think Montero could even find his way into some saves if he can build on last season's success.
Montero posted a 4.37 FIP over 119 innings in 2017 -- more than a run lower than his ERA -- which provided a shred of hope that the former top prospect could still make it as a useful major leaguer. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to build on his 2017 season as his 2018 campaign was over before it even got started. After a rough spring, Montero was diagnosed with a complete tear of his UCL on March 22 and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. It came as no surprise when the Mets outrighted him after the lost season, with Montero electing free agency. The right-hander inked a minor-league contract with the Rangers, and while that landing spot isn't ideal, he's at least in a situation where opportunity should be present once healthy. If he's lucky, Montero will be cleared to begin a rehab assignment in May.
Hype has surrounded Montero since he first arrived in Queens as a 23-year-old in 2014, but it has yet to all come together for the righty from the Dominican Republic. Montero was used as both a starter and a reliever in 2017, but failed to find his footing in either role. In 18 starts, he compiled a 5.08 ERA over 95.2 innings and was roughed up for a 7.33 ERA over 23.1 innings out of the bullpen. He failed to reach even a 2.0 K/BB in either role and just doesn't seem to have the control necessary to succeed in the majors at this point. The Mets have seemed unwilling to make major moves to bolster their pitching staff, and Montero is just 27 in 2018, so he may still have one more chance to prove he belongs in the majors. The 189 strikeouts in 192.1 innings are alluring, but a lot of that luster goes away once you catch a whiff of the 1.71 WHIP that comes with them.
Having worked him mostly as a starter throughout the minors, the Mets planned to use Montero in that capacity in the majors should they need any reinforcements in their rotation. Though he struggled badly enough that he was demoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to Double-A Binghamton midseason, Montero got his chance this season in the form of three spot starts with the parent club. Though his first two starts were decent, he didn't perform well overall, yielding 14 walks and three home runs over 11 innings as a starter. That was actually better than his performance out of the bullpen, though, as the once highly regarded prospect allowed a .371 batting average against en route to a 9.00 ERA in six relief appearances. Unless injuries hinder it again, it's not clear if Montero will get a look in the rotation this season. His stock has fallen far enough that it would be difficult to count on him even if he is tabbed for spot duty.
Montero’s blazing quick ascent through the minors suggested a level of polish that could’ve yielded the season that unheralded teammate Jacob deGrom ended up having as the NL’s Rookie of the Year. It would have no doubt been a best-case scenario, but the ability to limit walks, stifle home runs, and miss plenty of bats with average or above stuff across the board is what Montero was all about in the minors. He got a couple chances with the Mets, but two of those three skills weren’t present. He walked batters in all 10 of his starts including more than one in eight of them and he allowed homers in each of his first five starts, resulting in a 1.6 HR/9 when it was all said and done. With minor league numbers in line with his past, the MLB struggles suggest more of a learning curve issue as opposed to any sort of skills erosion. The incredible depth of the Mets' pitching could make it tough to find time in 2015 or even make him someone they look to move for some hitting.
Montero continued his rapid rise in the Mets' organization, blowing through Double-A Binghamton to pitch a half-season at Triple-A Las Vegas. Two of Montero's hallmarks are his control and limiting home runs, and each were on full display last year, as he posted a 4.49 K/BB ratio and gave up just six home runs in 155.1 innings. Montero has a low-90s fastball, along with a low-80s slider and changeup, and he can paint the black with each of those three pitches. He likely will open 2014 back with the 51s, but like fellow prospect Noah Syndergaard, he should hit New York by mid-season and profiles to be a future No. 3 starter.
More Fantasy News
Works out of trouble to earn save
PHouston Astros
October 2, 2022
Montero picked up the save with a scoreless ninth inning against the Rays on Sunday. He allowed one hit and two walks while striking out one.
ANALYSIS
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Allows two runs in win
PHouston Astros
September 25, 2022
Montero (5-2) earned the win Saturday against the Orioles. He allowed two runs on two hits while striking out one over one inning.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up 13th save
PHouston Astros
September 15, 2022
Montero earned the save Thursday against Oakland, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning in a 5-2 victory.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up save Monday
PHouston Astros
September 5, 2022
Montero earned a save against the Rangers on Monday with a perfect inning that included one strikeout.
ANALYSIS
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Secures 11th save
PHouston Astros
September 2, 2022
Montero struck out two in a perfect inning to earn the save in Friday's 4-2 win over the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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