In 2000, the Chicago cubs drafted high upside youngster Luis Montanez third overall.

That was the pinnacle of Montanez’s career.

He bounced around the minors for a number of years with marginal success, before being sent packing to where all Cubs prospects go to fade away – Baltimore. There, he actually saw some time in the bigs, but didn’t find any success.

And now he’s back. The Cubs signed Montanez to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, where he’ll theoretically compete for the fifth outfielder spot with Reed Johnson and Fernando Perez. Montanez is still just 29, but if the last two seasons are any indication – .525 OPS in 2009, .296 OPS in 2010 – he just isn’t cut out for the Majors.

  • marc

    Any big names that went before or after him?

    • Jeff

      2000 was a really poor draft at the top. Adrian Gonzalez went first, and it took until Chase Utley at 15 for a guy that makes you upset the Cubs passed on him. I think Adam Wainwright went last in the first round, but everybody whiffed in that draft. I also think Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb were drafted in the late rounds though. The Cubs drafted Dontrelle Willis that year in round 8.

  • Philoe Beddoe

    Now if we can just Ty Griffin, Brooks Kieschnick, Ryan Harvey, Lance Dickson

    but wait a minute, now we are taking Baltimore’s retreads? Players that are actually our original retreads?

    So they are no good with us(Historically poor organization), latch on with the Orioles(a recently worse organization than us) and now they come back to us? Wouldn’t it make sense for both the Cubs and Orioles to shop for Red Sox and Yankee cast-offs? Aren’t we just passing garbage back and forth like two Ugnaughts playing catch with C3PO’s head?(obscure Star Wars reference) How bad am I wasting time that I am even discussing the Cub’s signing Luis Montanez?

    • Serio

      I think you mean Baltimore’s retards

    • Jeff

      I count ten guys from the Cubs that went to Baltimore with Andy McFAIL.
      Felix Pie, Corey Patterson, Will Ohman, Steve Trachsel, Scott Moore, Rocky Cherry, Jake Fox, Lou Montanez, Cesar Izturis, and Rich Hill. I forgot, Derek Lee, and Kevin Gregg both signed with Baltimore, that’s 12. Wonder why we aren’t getting that many former Orioles? Is it because even Jim Hendry knows that Andy McFAIL can’t draft?

      • Bric

        I think it was more of Stockstill following Tribune orders to draft “cheap” top prospects that did us in. If you look at the Orioles drafting the last couple of years the Cubs’ drafting isn’t even in the same league. Two more names to throw out there are Josh Vitters and Hayden Simpson. McFail had nothing to do with these guys who are soon to be the next in a very long list of utter disappointments. But please tell me more about how strong our farm system is. McNutt is another one of the Cubs’ way overhyped PR machine. He’ll be on this list in five years too. At least Wilken figured out that MLB drafting is like a weatherman. If you look outside and see a bunch of clouds, it’s probably gonna rain. Read BA and draft in their order. It’s not that complicated. Except the day he drafted Simpson it was clear blue skies.

        • eryk

          your a little pessimistic

          • Bric

            Yeah, I guess I am. But last year was kind of a breaking point. Before that we could at least claim there was limited payroll, we were trying to develop players, the facilities sucked, etc. But after watching a payroll skyrocket, free agents brought in left and right, continued b.s from the front office about injuries, clubhouse chemistry, petty arguments with local vendors, a manager that checked out in April, more frequent complaints of drunken asshole fans disrespecting the game without recourse I guess I have reason to be. Make no mistake, I love the Cubs. But I’m over all the excuses.

            • BT

              So the logical reaction is to give up on a 21 year old an another prospect yet to throw his first pitch in professional baseball? And to badmouth McNutt? Wilken, Cubs scouts, and the guys who make up the Cubs top 10 lists have seen these guys play over and over, and say they have talent. My guess is that you haven’t seen anything but stories on the internet, and you have decided they all suck? There is a chance that none of these guys pan out, but it’s comically early to throw dirt on their graves.

              The very fact that you chose now, 2011 as the time to mock our farm system is truly astounding.

              • Bric

                True, I only saw Vitters in ST once and he sucked. I’ve never once seen McNutt pitch as I doubt 99% of the bleachernation has. The reasons for my statements come purely from the analysts. I was just expressing an opinion based on 103 years of fact. The reason I bring it up now is because I remember hearing Montanez (who was drafted as a ss by the way) interviewed by Ron and Pat shortly after being drafted. I specifically remember hearing him ask if he coud get a Kerry Wood autographed ball while they were discussing his future. I remember thinking “Jeez, this kid sounds like a 6 year old! Doesn’t anybody actually talk to these kids before they throw 5 mil at them at the age of 18? He’s never gonna make it.” After moving him to the outfield they eventually moved him out the door. The old saying kick me once, kick me twice comes to mind.

                • BT

                  All understandable, but you are making the same mistake that every fan makes in that you think the team you root for is uniquely bad at developing prospects, because the guys you keep hearing about usually fail to pan out. The Cubs aren’t unique. For instance, go back and look at the draft the Cubs took Montanez. Was he a huge bust? Absolutely. But look:

                  I’d say the Phillies and Marlins got it right, as probably did the Braves. The other 27 first round picks either sucked, or were massive disappointments. It was a terrible draft year (at least from the standpoint of the first round).

                  So, did the Cubs have Gary Scott and Ty Griffin and Kevin Orie? Yes. They also had Carlos Zambrano, Marmol, Soto, and hopefully Castro. Everyone has hits and misses.

                  As an aside, if you want teams to just follow baseball america’s draft list, be aware that you would have to live with your team taking Brad Lincoln ahead of Tim Lincecum.

                  • Bric

                    Thanks for hearing me out. Your points about everyone just seeing their own team’s disapointments is very true. However the issue that still sticks in my craw now is that Hendry and Ricketts have gotta make a decision one way or the other. If they’re a major market team than act like one (like the Red Sox and Yankees). If they’re gonna cut payroll and downsize, then do it (like the Rays). But don’t tell me they’re one player away from contending so they throw 10 mil at Carol Pena (that’s the one player?!) while drafting a nobody in the first round jus so they can sign him for a bunch of millions less than all the other players drafted in the same range. Fucking make up your minds already and stop treating us like we’re morons. I really do hope Vitters and McNutt fail miserably. Not so I can say I told you so but because I hope Hendry and Ricketts actually read these posts and realise we fans aren’t as stupid as they think we are.

                    • philoe beddoe

                      if the Ricketts are as financially strapped as it seems, than we can blame the MLB and probably specifically Jerry Reinsdorf for getting cheap ownership…Reinsdorf would have NEVER allowed an owner like Cuban or a Steinbrenner type that would have put us in the Red Sox/ Yankee category like we should be…anyway you slice it “Year One” was a just spent and borrowed billions to buy the club….and we have to “shed” Gorzelany’s 2 million?…the Yankees and Red Sox make mistakes, and sometime they have to eat them… I was tired of Tom and Todd, and Laura and whoever the moment I saw them…..either play with the big boys or recoup some of Daddy’s money and sell the team…

        • mike

          I don’t know how you can be down on Wilken and the job he’s done since coming to the Cubs. Colvin, Vitters, Cashner, Jackson and Simpson for top picks. Considering how Colvin was handled, I think most will agree he exceeded expectations in his first full season in the MLB. Vitters is only 21and has had injuries hinder his development, but still too early to give up on him. Look at his progression. He struggles when first promoted to a new level, but when he follows it up the next season, his performance is much better. Cashner looks solid and Jackson looks to be developing well. Why don’t you hold off on Simpson until he at least pitches somewhere within the Cubs organization.

          Add Soto, Marmol and Marshall to the equation and I think the Cubs are moving in the right direction.

  • Peter Kempf

    Well, I guess we have to field minor league team rosters too. Does he have any funny YouTube videos?

    • rylan

      Remember Joey Gathright? He had a pretty cool one…

  • Philoe Beddoe

    I am with you Bric…I went to a game in the late 90’s..Kevin Foster gives up a three run bomb to put Cubs down 9 to 3…bleachers throw ball back…crowd goes crazy…it was at that moment that I realized that we have a moronic franchise….I just want them to win ….I don’t care about statues, the ballpark(that’s right I will blaspheme! I would be fine with a new and improved park, ever been to PetCo?) Fan Conventions, beer in the bleachers, the bars around the park, the 7th inning stretch, more statues, Holy Cow!, pissing in troths, advertising at the park or any other B.S. that Cub Fans constantly focus on….

    • Raymond Robert Koenig


  • CubSouth

    I wanted to throw around a question for everyone. We all know Pujols and Fielder are demanding huge contracts this off season for upwards of $180-250 million, and the Cubs have expressed interest in those two. My question is, if Pena has a 35-40 hr, 120 rbi, .285 avg. year, should we really spend that much money on one guy or maybe give Pena a 5 yr/ 65 mil. contract and spend the rest on a 3b, 2b and all the other holes we need to fill? Maybe even sign a few young players like Castro or Colvin through their arbitration years and not have to defer money all the time. Please, tell me what you think.

  • philoe beddoe

    I say no way Pujols leaves St. Louis…and Fielder?…I would be very worried about him in the large…er long term…

    I would be against signing any 1B for that kinda money..same reason why(actually one of the many reasons why) I thought the Soriano deal was so stupid…..if you are going to spend that kinda dough, the guy should play an important defensive spot, and play it well…