Everett AquaSox outfielder Lazaro Montes, the Seattle Mariners’ No. 4 ranked prospect, smiles while running onto the field prior to Everett’s game against the Spokane Indians on June 26, 2024 at Funko Field. (Photo courtesy Evan Morud / Everett AquaSox)

Everett AquaSox outfielder Lazaro Montes, the Seattle Mariners’ No. 4 ranked prospect, smiles while running onto the field prior to Everett’s game against the Spokane Indians on June 26, 2024 at Funko Field. (Photo courtesy Evan Morud / Everett AquaSox)

AquaSox week in review: Big-prospect Montes one stop closer to dream

RJ Schreck and Will Schomberg lead split against Vancouver.

EVERETT — As an 11-year-old in Havana, Cuba, Lazaro Montes began to believe he’d play Major League Baseball someday.

Eight years later, Montes — the No. 4 ranked prospect in the Seattle Mariners organization — took another step toward that dream when he was promoted to the Everett AquaSox two weeks ago after a strong showing in Class A Modesto.

“Eleven years old — that’s when I knew I wanted to be in the big leagues,” said Montes, who batted .309 with 13 home runs in 65 games with Modesto.

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, with a swing that delivers a more aggressive-sounding pop than most 19-year old’s bats, Montes looks the part. He’s becoming more comfortable as he learns a new language, a new country and another new city. So far, he’s proven himself at every level. Playing right field for the AquaSox, Montes has hit .237 so far, but believes the best is yet to come. He said the biggest different between A and “high A” baseball is “the mentality.”

“You need to me more of a man,” Montes said. “The baseball is the same, only the pitches are more hot.”

He’s drawn comparisons to fellow Cuban Yordan Alvarez (Houston Astros) because of a similar stature and a powerful swing from the left side of the plate. Montes hopes to to do similar damage to baseballs someday, though for the Mariners rather than against them.

Being a young man away from family can be challenging, but Montes said the fans keep him energized, especially the kids he meets after the games.

Breaks from baseball are rare for a professional, and Montes fills his spare time with more baseball — in video game form. He likes to play Diamond Dynasty in MLB The Show on his PlayStation.

That’s about as far away from the game as Montes goes as he works toward his own climb to the real-life show.

Week in review

The AquaSox split six games with Vancouver last week. The Canadians came into the series winning their first nine games of the second half of the season. Everett won two of three in Vancouver, then beat the Canadians on July 4 in Everett before dropping two games on Friday and Saturday. Vancouver (42-36 overall) still leads the second-half standings with a 12-3 record. Everett (40-41) is four games back with an 8-7 second-half record.

Players of the week

Hitter: RJ Schreck. The left fielder played in all six games last week and recorded at least one hit in each to help the Frogs go 3-3 against Vancouver. Schreck went 8-for-23 with four RBI, four doubles and four runs scored. He also hit his team-best 11th home run of the season.

Pitcher: Will Schomberg. In his first start for the AquaSox after being promoted from Modesto, Schomberg helped defeat the Vancouver Canadians on July 4 by allowing just one run during his five innings on the mound. The 5-foot-10 right-hander struck out six and walked only one while allowing four hits in the 8-1 victory.

The week ahead: The AquaSox enjoyed a rare two-day break Sunday and Monday after a run of 12 games in 12 days. They’ll play six games this week at Spokane (49-30) before the the All-Star Futures break July 15-18. There are no AquaSox currently slated for the Futures game, though it will include former Frogs Harry Ford and Cole Young. Spokane — which already clinched a spot in the Northwest League Championship Series after finishing at the top of the first-half standings — enters the AquaSox series with an 11-4 record, one game behind first-place Vancouver (12-3) and three in front of Everett (8-7).

Mason Coe contributed to this report.

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