Mike Montgomery Completes Sweep of PCL Championship


Entering 2011, Mike Montgomery was considered by many to be either the top pitching prospect in the Royals system or at least the runner up to that title.  Baseball America ranked him 19th overall in their annual top 100 rundown.

Montgomery hasn’t performed to those expectations in 2011.  A major storyline this year focused on his command struggles in Triple A.  Montgomery walked more than four batters per nine innings in Omaha.

On Friday, he walked three in five innings, but he gave up only three hits and no runs as Omaha won their third in a row against the Sacramento River Cats for their first Pacific Coast League championship.

Omaha dominated Sacramento, outscoring them 29-12 over the best-of-five series.

Friday’s hero was Lance Zawadzki who went 4-5 and drove in three.  Lorenzo Cain, Clint Robinson and Manuel Pina also had strong offensive showings in the playoffs.

Luis Mendoza was named the PCL Playoffs MVP after striking out 12 in 14 innings and winning both of his starts.  He gave up just two runs in those games, capping off a remarkable Triple A season where he was the league’s Pitcher of the Year and almost threw a no-hitter.

Now that the playoffs are over, Omaha has a one game matchup on September 20 against Columbus for the Triple A Championship.  That may mean that players like David Lough, Lorenzo Cain, Irving Falu, Clint Robinson and Kelvin Herrera may stay with the Storm Chasers rather than get a few games in for Kansas City.  The Royals have seemed focused on keeping winning teams together as long as they can or until a particular prospect forces their hand to bring them up.

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