KC Royals: James Shields Trade Carried High Cost

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Jun 7, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Mike Montgomery (37) throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


Mike Montgomery had been one of the most celebrated prospects in baseball from 2010 through 2012. Baseball America rated him the #39 prospect in MLB before 2010, #19 before 2011, and #23 before 2012.

Montgomery, however, hit a wall in 2011 when he was promoted to AAA Omaha. He posted a miserable 5.32 ERA. He followed up that season by getting demoted to AA Northwest Arkansas and pitching for AAA Omaha, resulting in an even worse 6.07 ERA.

Montgomery suddenly couldn’t find the plate in the upper minors for some inexplicable reason. He didn’t have an arm injury, but his pitches just didn’t have the same bite. He was hittable. And no one really knew why.

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Montgomery had fallen out of the top prospect rankings when Tampa Bay dealt for him in 2013. At the time, the Rays hoped a change of scenery would help bring Mike Montgomery out of his funk.

However, he continued to wallow for two more years in the Tampa system before they dealt him to Seattle for starter Erasmo Ramirez last winter.

Mike Montgomery, at long last, found his elusive command in AAA Tacoma. He put up a respectable 3.74 ERA in nine starts, with a BB/9 of 2.5. Montgomery has been even better in two starts for the Mariners, giving up three earned runs in 13.0 innings pitched.

While Montgomery’s strikeout rate has tanked to 4.9 through his introduction to the majors, he’s continued to throw strikes with a 2.1 BB/9.

While it’s a bit too early to claim that Mike Montgomery has completed his return from the wilderness, how would you like to have him back in Kansas City? He’d form an impressive young collection of rotation talent along with Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, and Jake Odorizzi.

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