2016 Statistics: 25 GS, 139.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
2016 Level/Roster Status: Triple-A/Non-40
In 2014, the Yankees went the sure route by almost exclusively drafting college talent that year. After taking a reliever Jacob Lindgren and high school starter Austin DeCarr, Jordan Montgomery was drafted in the fourth round and served as the linchpin to their new strategy of hoarding as many college arms as they possibly could. As it turns out, it worked pretty well for them, and Montgomery is easily the most advanced starting pitcher in his draft class.
The 2016 season was a an important year for his development. As an advanced arm, he had progressed faster than most of his peers, spending time in the Gulf Coast and Staten Island in 2014, and the Charleston and Tampa in 2015. This year was bound to be a real test as he headed into the upper minors. Despite the increased competition, Montgomery handled himself well by maintaining a 2.55 ERA with good peripherals over 102.1 innings in Double-A Trenton. He received a promotion to Triple-A in August, and continued to impress with a 0.97 ERA over six starts in Scranton.
Montgomery was never considered a big-time prospect when he was first drafted, but he’s elevated himself into the conversation by living up to his potential. He now ranks as the No. 19 prospect in the Yankees farm system, and he could have a future with the organization. Despite the influx of high-end talent this year, the Yankees still lack starting pitching depth, though Montgomery could help solve that problem.
Much of his success has come from his wide selection of pitches, including a fastball, changeup, curveball, and cutter. He is also noted for his clean delivery which allows him to locate his pitches consistently. Montgomery was also never a big velocity guy, sitting 88-92 mph when he was first drafted. However, now he is hitting 91-94 mph to give scouts something to be excited about.
Montgomery seems like a safe bet to become a major league contributor before too long. He projects to be a back of the rotation type arm, but his improved velocity could make him more than that. It’s also worth noting that he has been very durable over the last two seasons, pitching over 130 innings in 2015 and 2016. It’s safe to say that Montgomery will get a good look in spring training this year, and could ultimately earn a spot on the team as a swingman or eventual spot starter over the course of the season. He is definitely someone to watch in 2017.