NEW YORK (WFAN) — Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero said on Tuesday that he wants “to be behind the plate” for New York in 2011.
The youngster has company.
Francisco Cervelli, New York’s feisty 24-year-old backup catcher, is ready to compete with Montero and Austin Romine for the job.
“I can’t control what the general manager’s decision is or the manager’s decision,” Cervelli said on Wednesday. “I’ve just got to do my job on the field and they decide what to do on the field. I came here fresh and I just want to play baseball like I play, have fun and give everything to my team.”
If Cervelli makes the team, he would likely play second fiddle to Russell Martin. That won’t deter Francisco from having his sights set on a starting job.
“I don’t like to be comfortable, I always want to learn, learn, learn,” he said. “I want to be one day a starting catcher or a Gold Glove, something like a Molina brother. That’s my dream.”
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano worked with Cervelli this offseason in the Dominican Republic.
“He’s trying to help me,” Cervelli said. “He’s got a good disposition to teach…good friend, good teacher.”
Cervelli, who hit .271 for the Bombers in 2010, tried out a few tips from Cano at the dish.
“I tried to learn a little bit how you can hit the ball,” said Francisco.
The Bombers’ backup, a native Venezuelan, is happy with the decision to work with his good friend.
“My country, it’s a little tough there with security. When you’re a little bit famous, you’ve got to be careful, so it’s better to be out of there, for my family. I think it was the best decision.”
The bottom line is, Cervelli feels good about his chances heading into spring training.
“I’ve got almost two years in the big leagues and it’s going to help a little bit,” Cervelli said. “I’ve got more confidence catching, I know every pitcher and I feel great, my body’s good. I don’t have to worry about anything, just go there and do what I have to do.”
Who do you want to see backing up Martin in 2011? Sound off in the comments below!
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