Montgomery Handling It

After starting the season in the Gulf Coast League, pitcher Jordan Montgomery was brought up to Staten Island towards the end of July. The Yankees’ fourth-round pick projects to be a starter in the long run but hasn’t quite been given the chance to pitch deep into a game.

Playing for South Carolina in college, Mongomery started all but two of his 44 games for the program so it’s way too early to be concerned about his use in the minor leagues.

Younger players often start off slow before they’re given the chance to expand their innings pitched. However, given Montgomery’s pedigree, he should be pitching deeper into games and perhaps advancing in no time at all.

“Well, he’s coming from a really good program where we know he’s been battle-tested and you can see that because he maintains really good mound presence regardless of the situation,” manager Mario Garza said. “He really showcases a plus-plus changeup, which really helps him – and he can throw it at any time.

"[His] fastball plays – it’s right around a Major League average fastball for a left-handed pitcher. But I would say his changeup is his plus pitch.”

In three Gulf Coast appearances before being promoted he posted a 4.76 earned run average in 5.2 innings pitched. He surrendered five hits and walked two in his time there. But once he headed north, he drastically improved his numbers. It’s as if he was begging for the spotlight.

Being a first-year player, Montgomery was sent down to the GCL just to get used to life as a pro.

“They just wanted to get me used to it and get my arm a little stronger. I took a couple weeks off after college so they wanted me getting back in shape,” Montgomery said.

“It was good. They got me in the rotation, taught me all the shoulder work I needed to do, and got me out there when I had to.”

In four games [two starts] with Staten Island entering Friday night's start, Montgomery was touting an ERA that is less than one-quarter of his ERA in the GCL. In 7.2 innings in A-Ball, Montgomery had an ERA of 1.17 while striking out nine batters, although he has the exact same number of hits and walks, respectively.

“Hitters have more of an approach (in Class-A),” Montgomery said. “Definitely more college guys here so better approaches and better swings on the ball.”

Despite the advancements of the hitters in this league, he’s having no issue at all handling them.

Coming from an SEC school with a strong baseball program has likely helped Montgomery adjust to the professionals. At South Carolina he had to face some of the nation’s best college hitters, and perhaps more importantly he did so on a big stage.

“Like I said, his mound presence [is Montgomery’s biggest attribute],” Garza said. “He’s really good, he’s a confident kid, it doesn’t matter what the situation is, you’re going to see the same body language, the same facial expressions and you’re really going to see the same pitcher.”

The 6-foot-5-inch left-hander was known for being a “crafty” pitcher. He wasn’t someone who would rely on power to dominate hitters but rather one who threw the proper pitches in the right spots at the right time to get batters out.

“I can see that,” Garza said. “I think that’s (“crafty”) a term that they use for a guy with a really good changeup, and a guy with not overpowering stuff – stuff that’s not going to overwhelm a hitter but a guy that seems to have success.”

Both Garza and Montgomery made note of his changeup and therefore that’s likely his best pitch. He also throws a fastball between 89 to 93 miles per hour, a cutter, and a curveball. If Montgomery can continue to locate his fastball and throw first-pitch strikes that should enable him to toss in his changeup for his out-pitch.

So far, he’s showing no signs of having any difficulty adjusting to this level of play and will likely only be given more chances to prove so. Once the season is over, Montgomery should be given a long, hard look by the Yankees’ brass as to where to start him off next season. Given the level of play in college and his success in Class-A, he could be moving up the ranks pretty quickly.

“I think he’s capable,” Garza said. “It just depends on what they want to do with him but I think he can handle it.”

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\r\n \r\n\r\nPlaying for South Carolina in college, Mongomery started all but two of his 44 games for the program so it’s way too early to be concerned about his use in the minor leagues.
\r\n
\r\nYounger players often start off slow before they’re given the chance to expand their innings pitched. However, given Montgomery’s pedigree, he should be pitching deeper into games and perhaps advancing in no time at all.
\r\n
\r\n“Well, he’s coming from a really good program where we know he’s been battle-tested and you can see that because he maintains really good mound presence regardless of the situation,” manager Mario Garza said. “He really showcases a plus-plus changeup, which really helps him – and he can throw it at any time.
\r\n
\r\n\"[His] fastball plays – it’s right around a Major League average fastball for a left-handed pitcher. But I would say his changeup is his plus pitch.”
\r\n
\r\nIn three Gulf Coast appearances before being promoted he posted a 4.76 earned run average in 5.2 innings pitched. He surrendered five hits and walked two in his time there. But once he headed north, he drastically improved his numbers. It’s as if he was begging for the spotlight.
\r\n
\r\nBeing a first-year player, Montgomery was sent down to the GCL just to get used to life as a pro.
\r\n
\r\n“They just wanted to get me used to it and get my arm a little stronger. I took a couple weeks off after college so they wanted me getting back in shape,” Montgomery said.
\r\n
\r\n“It was good. They got me in the rotation, taught me all the shoulder work I needed to do, and got me out there when I had to.”
\r\n
\r\nIn four games [two starts] with Staten Island entering Friday night's start, Montgomery was touting an ERA that is less than one-quarter of his ERA in the GCL. In 7.2 innings in A-Ball, Montgomery had an ERA of 1.17 while striking out nine batters, although he has the exact same number of hits and walks, respectively.
\r\n
\r\n“Hitters have more of an approach (in Class-A),” Montgomery said. “Definitely more college guys here so better approaches and better swings on the ball.”
\r\n
\r\nDespite the advancements of the hitters in this league, he’s having no issue at all handling them.
\r\n
\r\nComing from an SEC school with a strong baseball program has likely helped Montgomery adjust to the professionals. At South Carolina he had to face some of the nation’s best college hitters, and perhaps more importantly he did so on a big stage.
\r\n
\r\n“Like I said, his mound presence [is Montgomery’s biggest attribute],” Garza said. “He’s really good, he’s a confident kid, it doesn’t matter what the situation is, you’re going to see the same body language, the same facial expressions and you’re really going to see the same pitcher.”
\r\n
\r\nThe 6-foot-5-inch left-hander was known for being a “crafty” pitcher. He wasn’t someone who would rely on power to dominate hitters but rather one who threw the proper pitches in the right spots at the right time to get batters out.
\r\n
\r\n“I can see that,” Garza said. “I think that’s (“crafty”) a term that they use for a guy with a really good changeup, and a guy with not overpowering stuff – stuff that’s not going to overwhelm a hitter but a guy that seems to have success.”
\r\n
\r\nBoth Garza and Montgomery made note of his changeup and therefore that’s likely his best pitch. He also throws a fastball between 89 to 93 miles per hour, a cutter, and a curveball. If Montgomery can continue to locate his fastball and throw first-pitch strikes that should enable him to toss in his changeup for his out-pitch.
\r\n
\r\nSo far, he’s showing no signs of having any difficulty adjusting to this level of play and will likely only be given more chances to prove so. Once the season is over, Montgomery should be given a long, hard look by the Yankees’ brass as to where to start him off next season. Given the level of play in college and his success in Class-A, he could be moving up the ranks pretty quickly.
\r\n
\r\n“I think he’s capable,” Garza said. “It just depends on what they want to do with him but I think he can handle it.”
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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