Michael Montgomery and John Lamb - R2R a Royals Fan (Volume 4)

I recognize that I am double dipping by going back to Mike Montgomery, who was reason #6 in Volume 2, but he deserves some additional attention in lieu of his promotion to the Wilmington Blue Rocks today.  After watching Bruce Chen and Sidney Ponson pitch yesterday, I needed to find a rotational “happy place” and Montgomery’s early returns fit the bill.

Monday, Montgomery started his last game for the Burlington Bees and threw a beautiful ballgame.  He went 6.0 innings and struck out 7 while allowing only 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run.  In 12 starts with the Bees this season he has allowed more than 1 earned run only twice.  As he moves up to Wilmington he leaves behind a 2.17 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.17 K/BB in 58.0 innings pitched for Burlington.  Opposing batters have managed to hit a paltry 0.206 against him on the season.  His stellar season in low-A was following up his 2008 campaign in rookie ball with the Arizona League Royals where he posted a 1.69 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 2.83 K/BB while also holding opposing hitters to a 0.211 BA.

The Royals selected the 6’5″ LHP in the 1st round (36th overall) in the 2008 draft out of high school and he is living up to the hype.  The Blue Rocks will be his 3rd team and 3rd level in the KC system in a calendar year.  Michael Montgomery is moving quickly, and rightfully so.  He has been missing bats, keeping runners off base, showing good control, and has a 7.69 K/9 in 100.2 minor league innings thus far.

2008 5th round pick LHP-John Lamb was even more impressive yesterday in his start for the Burlington Royals.  Lamb went 7.0 innings while allowing 2 hits, 0 runs, and 1 walk while striking out 4.  He now has a 3.95 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 2.78 K/BB in 27.1 IP over 6 starts this season.

The poor pitching of Sidney Ponson and Bruce Chen can’t keep my optimism down.  The performance of Trey Hillman and the bullpen is an entirely different matter however.  A happy place does not exist that can overcome what I’ve witnessed along those lines.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball John Lamb Kansas City Royals KC Mike Montgomery MLB

  • scottw

    Good to know there are some bright spots. Rany’s on the Disco Hayes pleasure cruise, but I’m still standing on the platform trying to decide whether to embark. How long does it take guys like Monty & Lamb to work their way up, or does it all depend?

    And where’s Crow??

  • Wally Fish

    First, get on the Disco bandwagon, he’s a legit ML reliever. Guys that throw from his arm slot are pretty much extinct and that gives him a huge advantage over hitters at every level, including the majors.

    Each player’s timetable really depends on how quickly they adapt and succeed at each level, if they ever do. The jump from A ball to AA is widely regarded as the toughest to make before a player makes the majors, and a lot happens at AA to accelerate or decelerate a prospect’s ML debut.

    Montgomery has all the tools and he’s a lefty so I think he will handle AA just fine, but probably won’t get to the Naturals till 2010. If he does well in Wilmington this year and NW Arkansas to start next year, it is feasible that we will see him in KC sometime in the 2nd half of 2010 but that is if everything goes well for him. 2011 is a safer bet assuming he doesn’t flame out. Fellow LHP Danny Duffy, who has been in Wilmington all year, is probably 1/2 season ahead of Monty.

    Lamb might take a while longer because he missed all of last season due to injuries suffered in a car accident before the 2008 draft (which is why he went in the 5th and not the 1st round). I wouldn’t expect to see Lamb any earlier than late 2011 or 2012. Tim Melville is also holding his own in Low-A and is probably on a similar track to Lamb at this point.

    Aaron Crow has not signed and probably won’t until right before the deadline. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the Royals or Crow. They may have an above slot contract in place but the commish’s office won’t approve deals significantly above slot until right befoe the deadline. Rumor has it that both Wil Myers (3rd round) and Dwyer (4th round) have been signed above slot but the are in limbo until MLB approves the deals.

    Selig is basically slowing the development and careers of several prospects across baseball to try and keep contracts down across the board. The politics are BS and hopefully the next CBA will have predetermined slot values that teams and players have to abide by so all this nonsense comes to an end.

    I’ll keep doing a lot of work on the prospects and minor leagues because I can only write so many articles about how our bullpen is absolute trash or about how clueless Trey Hillman is.

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