Lazaro Montes, the 12th-ranked prospect of the Mariners as per MLB Pipeline, is gaining some attention this offseason. According to Jim Callis of Pipeline, who picked him, the Cuban-born slugger could follow in Jackson Chourio's footsteps and rise up the Mariners' prospect boards and farm system. For context, Chourio had a breakout 2023 season that saw him rise to #1 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list and land a lucrative multi-year deal with the Brewers before even playing a major league game.
That's not to say Montes is Chourio, but Callis is just as high on the 19-year-old outfielder. Montes had a remarkable 2023 season where he climbed two levels and curbed his strikeouts, as evidenced by a stellar .303/440/1.000 slash. His performance has experts like Callis singing his praises.
"What Montes has done has certainly raised my interest. He hit well, had an OPS over 1.000 in the Dominican Summer League after signing. He came stateside, and not only did he hit really well in the Arizona Complex League, but he got moved up to full-season ball and hit better, in many instances, there."- Jim Calls on Lazaro Montes
Scouts often float the Yordan Alvarez comparison when discussing Montes, which is unfair, but the size, swing, and power are all there. The powerful outfielder came into the system at 6'3" and already larger than life, but he's sprouted five more inches (6'8"), further fueling the Alvarez comps.
Additionally, Callis mentioned Montes possibly having to move to first base or designated hitter as he climbs the organizational ladder and continues to fill out physically. I can see that happening, but the 19-year-old outfielder is probably three years away from making his debut. Still, for now, he'll handle right field, showcasing his above-average arm and 70-grade power in Everett next season.