KoK Prospect #2: Mike Montgomery

Mike Montgomery checks in at #2 on the 2010 Kings of Kauffman prospect list.

Who: Michael P. Montgomery
DOB: 7/1/1989  Valencia, California
Position: LHP
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 180
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Acquired: 2008 Draft (1st Round)

Rankings:
~ Baseball America #1
~ Diamond Futures #1
~ Royals Review #1
~ The Royal Tower #1
~ John Sickels B+
~ Baseball Prospectus #1
~ Scouting Book #2

Stats:

IP ERA WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2008 AZL Royals (Rk) 42.2 1.69 1.00 6.5 2.5 7.2 2.8
2009 Burlington (A) 58.0 2.17 1.14 6.5 3.7 8.1 2.2
2009 Wilmington (A+) 52.0 2.25 0.96 6.6 2.1 8.0 3.8
2010 Wilmington (A+) 24.2 1.09 0.73 5.1 1.5 12.0 8.3
2010 NW Arkansas (AA) 29.0 2.79 1.17 7.4 3.1 7.8 2.5

Yes I realize that everyone else, except Scouting Book (who stuck with Moose at #1), ranked Mike Montgomery as the Royals #1 prospect.  No I didn’t rank him #2 just to be different.  If you are paying attention to the list of players already revealed you know who my top prospect is, but you will have to wait for the official announcement, as well as my rationale for ranking a certain 2009 draft pick ahead of the New Monty.

I digress and this is about Mike Montgomery which leads us into a case of bad news and great news.  The bad news is that Montgomery has been shut down for a while due to forearm tightness and hasn’t appeared in a game since June 15th.  The great news is that even with the injury in the picture, Baseball America recently tabbed him the 18th best prospect in the minors in their updated midseason top-25 rankings and outside of the injury, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

In the 2010 Prospect Handbook, Baseball America tabbed him “close to a complete package.”  John Sickels also heaped praise upon Montgomery calling him a “top-flight prospect” and added, “I could see him being similar to Andy Pettitte perhaps.”  Similar to Andy Pettitte?  Yes please!

As a lefty with a mid-90s fastball, a developing changeup, and the pairing of his palmball (which should eventually be phased out) and a traditional curve he has several plus major league pitches at his disposal.  His stuff is only augmented by his well documented competitiveness. If you aren’t familiar with the story, Mike was kicked off his high school basketball team as a senior because he was picking up too many technical fouls.

On the baseball field, he carved up the competition in the Carolina League and proceeded to carry his dominance to the Texas League.  Looking at his 2010 line while in AA, his BB/9, SO/BB, and WHIP are all a bit deceiving.  In his first 3 starts with the Naturals he walked 9 batters in 14.2 innings.  In his last 3 starts he walked just 1 batter in 13.2 innings while dealing with the forearm problem along the way.  There is now doubt that was adjusting quickly to the new level of competition and prior to the adjustments he was pretty good anyway.  Considering how he has climbed the rungs of the minor league ladder and considering how quickly he has been able to establish a baseline of dominance at each level I have a hard time restraining my excitement.

He is a legitimate front of the rotation starter and potential major league ace.  The forearm problem probably robbed us of a chance to see him in Kansas City as late-season call up in September but that doesn’t bother me in the least.  In the long run the delay may work out to his benefit and the organization’s as well.  Assuming the injury, as we have been told, is nothing to worry about of course.

The thought of a major league rotation fronted by Zack Greinke and Mike Montgomery makes me giddy, and we should get to see that at some point in 2011.

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

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