Prospect Profile: Mark Montgomery

montgomery

Vitals:
RHRP
DOB 8/30/1990 Williamsburg, VA
School: Longwood University
5’ 11” 205 lbs.
Bats/Throws R/R
Drafted in 11th round of the 2011 draft by NYY

The Numbers: Montgomery has put up outstanding numbers since making his debut in Staten Island back in 2011. He pitched a total of 28.1IP between SI and Charleston to he tune of a 1.91 ERA and 1.165 WHIP. He racked up 15 saves while allowing 6.4 H/9, 4.1 BB/9, a .185 batting average against and struck out 16.2 per 9 innings, which resulted in 13 BB’s and 51 K’s on the season. In his first game in Charleston he proceeded to strike out five batters in one inning due to a couple of errant pitches. Mark continued his success in the 2012 season and even cut his walks down a little in the process. He started out the year with a promotion to Tampa and after 40.1 innings got his ticket to Trenton. His season totals resulted in 64.1 IP, good for a 1.54 ERA and .886 WHIP. Once again he saved 15 games, and in the process allowed 4.9 H/9, cut his walks down to 3.1/9, and a .157 average against. His 13.8 K/9 dropped slightly, but his K/BB improved to 4.5 in 2012. After a stellar 2012 regular season, Mark was ticketed to Scottsdale to pitch in the AFL. In what is generally considered a hitters league he continued to pitch well, throwing 10.1 innings of 2.61 ERA baseball. He allowed 5 hits and 3 earned runs in his 9 appearances, of which in his last outing he allowed 3 hits and 2 of those runs. He allowed his only other run and two hits in his first two games, the rest were zeroes. His trip to the fall leagues is a pretty good hint that he is not long for the minor leagues. That, and his numbers that rival that of fellow Yankee David Robertson and 2011 ROY Craig Kimbrel. Pretty good company I’d say.

The Stuff:

Montgomery, like the two aforementioned pitchers, doesn’t have the stature of a big power pitcher, but uses a combination of a long stride and deceptive delivery to allow his FB to play up a bit. He generally sits in the low 90’s with it, and can hit 95-96 at times and it has a bit of late movement to it when he’s on. He delivers from a low three-quarter arm slot and has a bit of whipping action to it that keeps hitters off guard. Like Robertson, his FB gets in on batters quicker than his velocity suggests. In his second season of pro ball his command of the fastball got decidedly better, boosting his K/BB ratio and kept more runners off the bases. He can move his FB around the plate a bit setting up his best offering.

Mark’s knockout pitch, as most are aware of at this point is his slider. Mark spoke on YES network with Mark Curry about how he toyed with numerous different grips during catch and long toss before he settled in to what he’s throwing now and it’s paid off. It’s already been described as a major league ready pitch and is the reason he can strike out a batter and a half per inning. It’s a plus-plus pitch that is flat out nasty to right handers, who have a difficult time even getting the barrel on the ball and seldom lay off the pitch to begin with. Experimenting with all those different grips also lends to his ability to throw his slider a couple of different ways depending on the situation and which side of the plate the batter hits from. He can throw a hard late breaking ball for strikes in the mid 80’s as well as a more looping pitch with a more sweeping break that he can place out of the zone in an attempt to get hitters to chase. He also sports a changeup which is more of a show me pitch, but it does gives hitters one more thing to think about in the box. His focus fell away from the change as he moved to Trenton and into the playoffs, which is understandable. At that point it’s about getting outs and winning games. He hasn’t shelved it completely though and will continue to work on it, as it will only make him more dangerous.

Overall:

Montgomery straight up attacks hitters. They have no choice but to stay back and wait for the slider which lets him get early calls with the four seam. His improved command gets him ahead in counts which allows him to go to one of his two sliders. It really isn’t fair; once he gets two strikes on a hitter they don’t stand much of a chance as he can take them out of the zone or hit the corners with a slider or come right back at them with a fastball. Having the changeup tossed in there every once in a while only adds to his effectiveness. Add to his pure stuff a deceptive delivery that keeps hitters off his fastball and an aggressive approach gives you a guy that could push his way to the back of the bullpen in a hurry. He may not be the 6’ 4” power pitcher that hits the high nineties all day, but his newly improved command, possession of a plus-plus pitch and feel for variations on his breaking ball and you have elite potential. From floor to ceiling you have a guy that gets injured and flames out to one who closes out All Star games. Such is the life of a ML pitcher, but who wouldn’t want that kind of chance?

Moving Forward:

Already named a FSL All Star, a MiL Organizational All Star and an AFL Rising Star Montgomery is on his way up, and quickly. He’s another one of Oppenheimer’s middle of the draft picks that has shined and it won’t be long before he’s striking out batters in the majors. Despite all his recent successes, Mark stays humble and while a ML debut is imminent, he continues to work hard every day to improve on his already impressive skill set. His confidence right now is at an all time high and he’s ready to take it to the next level. As much as I’m excited to see him in the BX, I wouldn’t mind seeing him get some AAA guys out before making his way up, and hey, keeping him in the minors for a few weeks keeps that service clock from ticking away and would give the Yanks a few more months of cost controlled time out of him. There are a couple of guys (Whitley, Perez) that could get a callup before him, but none so far have his potential.

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Posted on February 15, 2013, in Minor League Updates, Personal Opinion, Player Analysis and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. MR. jimmytoucan….very nice work, again. I, for whatever the reason, do not often comment
    on articles. This week twice. Yours, and Kevin’s work.
    They had Montgomery on YES last night. Good timing.

  2. HOW ABOUT THIS ONE ?…lifted from MLB Rumors.
    ******
    “Despite having six candidates for five rotation spots, the Yankees are keeping tabs on former ace Chien-Ming Wang, writes George A. King III of the New York Post. Wang threw off a mound for Yanks spring training pitching instructor Billy Connors at his Tampa area home recently and put on an impressive performance.”
    ******
    Did I make this up? When did we lose our humor?…No, I did not.

  3. PREDICTION TIME !..We can all participate. Join hands.
    A prediction on MARK TEIXEIRA….on what he will do in 2013.
    He will find his stride, and weight shift. The over shift shall stop. And he will…
    BAT…320…HIT…38HR…KNOCK-IN…115 RUNS.
    That is what I see. Come back player of the year, also.

  4. Batting averages have been down the last few years.Between that and the shifts teams have been employing against him I would not expect 300 from him again in his career/

    Ill say ,275/35/120

    • Correct twasp, only 13 .300 hitters last year, banning amphetatmines has really lowered the averages. This has made it more and more a pitchers game.

  5. Old Yank, Fish, Matts, Mike, etc what is your prediction for Tex this season?

    • Well, I for one don’t have any solid ideas yet but, I’ll throw out a few half a-sed ideas.
      If he (and this goes for Cano also) will quit thinking about the wall in right, both could have much better years. With Tex swinging with his pronounced upper cut, his days of high avg., are over. The less time the bat is in the zone the less chance you have of hitting the ball square. As for sitting on his back side goes, he can’t do that if he stays on the ball, I mean, he will square up more and stand-up better IF he can level his swing.
      Bottom line is Check with Ballpark, he can tell you better than I can…and believe it or not…I could be wrong…no, that’s impossible! :)

    • Twasp – The shift and his massive pull tendencies will ensure Tex never hits .290-.300 again. Your prediction of .275 is probably best case scenario and I think he’ll be right around .250 again where he’s been the last 3 years. If he stays healthy he’ll egt his 30 & 100 but he’s just not the same hitter he was in 2009 and before.

      in addition to his lower BA, he’s also getting fewer Doubles and Walks so his OBP & SLG percentages are dropping also. 2012 was the worst season of his career with career lows across the board. When his BA first slipped in 2010, he was still walking at a 13% clip so his OBP was a strong .365. But last yr, while his BA was only 5 points below his 2010 BA, his OBP slipped to .332. Tex is clearly just a shade of the player he was and there is no physical reason for it as he should be putting up better #s the last 3 years during his age 30-32 seasons.

  6. Ken – do you think Tex can do the 275/35/120 I predicted?

    • twasp..
      I don’t know for sure, it is hard to change your style of hitting after so many years. Most people have a habit of changing things but, at the first sign of a problem…they slide slowly into their old habits.
      Jeter tried to change a couple of years ago and it was no good for him!
      I know he has the talent to do so, and hope he does so but, I wouldn’t bet on it! happening.
      I do think he will make an effort to change somewhat, by not trying to pull the outside pitches, he could add points to his numbers. The thing is, again it will take a different mind-set and hard work…which is nothing new for him, he is a hard worker, so if he wants to do it he may make it. Remember, the mind is very hard to control, everything is repetition and not trying to think once in the batters box. One has to make up their mind what the situation is and decide what he will get from the pitcher and what he is going to do…BEFORE he sets up in the box! NO thinking in the box, KNOW what you will try to do before hand!
      Did I use enough BUTs in this post?

  7. Gotta go and work on my hand at the field house with the kids! Later!

  8. As good as Montgomery has looked in the Fall league and the minors, it all comes down to major league hitters ability to hit his slider. He is not a flame thrower like many young pitchers, his ability to locate will be critical at the big league level. It would be a stretch to think he is going to be as good as Robertson, and no way he will be Kimbrel.

    • Of course his location will be big for him. I pointed all of that out in the profile. So far as the comparisons, they’re there, both in their size, delivery and numbers in the minors. Wether or not he continues to pitch the way he has in the majors remains to be seen, that much is obvious, but to dismiss his style, stature and the things he’s done to this point would be unfair

  9. Montgomery has a unique delivery which allows him to hide the ball real well from the hitter. He stays closed and doesn’t get his arm up so it looks almost like the ball is delivered straight out of his body. Makes it very difficult for the hitter to pick up the ball which helps explain his success and huge K rates without an overpowering Fastball.

    He doesn’t have much to work on or improve upon in the minors and I think he’ll be in the Bronx as soon as a spot opens up this season. He will almost definitely have a shot at a big role net yr when Joba, Mo, Logan and others will likely be gone.

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