What took so long? Jesus Montero homers twice for Yankees in fourth career game

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Jesus Montero is progressing pretty nicely for the Yankees.

He went hitless in his debut, collected one hit in his second game, notched two hits in his third game, and homered twice against the Orioles today in his fourth game.

Not that there needed to be any more hype surrounding Montero at this point, but here’s a complete list of all the 21-and-under players in baseball history to homer twice in one of their first five games:

                   YEAR     AGE
Manny Ramirez      1993     21.096
Tom Brunansky      1984     20.234
Billy Conigliaro   1969     21.244
Don Money          1969     21.305
Curt Blefary       1965     21.286
Brian McCall       1962     19.248
Charlie Gilbert    1940     20.290

And now Montero, who is 21 years and 281 days old.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.