Best Sports Field General - 2012
Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks
Miguel Montero has one of the hardest jobs in sports, certainly the hardest on a baseball team — catcher. Not only must he direct the pitcher, which includes a professional intimacy with each hurler that probably makes his family jealous, and help oversee the position players, he must do it wearing a mask and squatting for the better part of two hours a game. From that position, he must leap up to catch foul balls with a mitt shaped like a pancake and throw out speedy runners trying to steal — something that Montero has learned to do extremely well. These are his defensive duties. In Montero's case, he's also a solid, middle-of-the-order hitter with a .282 batting average, 13 home runs, and 66 runs batted in. At 29, all-arounders like him are extremely hard to find — which is why it didn't surprise us when he beaome the highest-paid player on Arizona's roster at about $60 million over the next five years. If the Diamondbacks manage to contend in the off-season, it will be because of his on-field management and grace under pressure.