With their fourth round pick of the 2014 MLB Draft, the Yankees took their third straight pitcher with left-hander Jordan Montgomery out of University of South Carolina at 122nd overall. MLB.com had Montgomery at #160 on their draft list, and Baseball America ranked him at #120. Montgomery is ranked fifth in the state of South Carolina and is generally seen as a player with an easily obtainable floor and a limited ceiling. The MLB Network analysts called him a backend starter without a ton of upside, but one who should be able to make it to the majors.
Montgomery has been South Carolina's top starter for the past two seasons with a fastball that sits between 87 and 91 mph. He's not going to light up the radar gun, but he manages to stay effective even without extremely impressive velocity. His best pitch is his changeup, but he also throws a curveball and a cutter. He should be another player that has the capability to move through the system quickly as a college pitcher that doesn't require a lot of development. He may only make it as a #4 or #5 starter, but that is his floor that most agree he will be able to reach if all goes according to plan.
Here's Baseball America's scouting report on Montgomery:
Montgomery's track record in the SEC pushes him up some draft boards in spite of pedestrian stuff. He stepped into South Carolina's weekend rotation as a freshman, helping the Gamecocks reach their third straight College World Series finals in 2012. He replaced Michael Roth as the Gamecocks' ace in 2013, posting a 1.48 ERA that ranked 11th in the nation. He hadn't been quite as good this year but still ranked second in the Southeastern Conference with 60 strikeouts in 65 innings. Montgomery is no power pitcher, despite his 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame. At his best he locates an 88-92 mph fastball, though he often parks more at 89-90. When he locates his fastball inside, he's able to pitch away with his above-average changeup. It's his best pitch thanks mostly to his exceptional feel for it. He has a fringy, slow curveball and has mixed in a cutter to give hitters a different look.
You can follow Montgomery on Twitter @Gumbynation34. What do you think of this pick by the Yankees?