Getting to Know: Jordan Montgomery: Can He Help Solidify The Yankees’ Rotation?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor

While the Yankees lineup features high upside youngsters who are expected to be future building blocks, the current rotation isn’t quite so lucky.  When discussing the Yankees’ timeline to relevance the question always is where will the pitching come from.  However, could Jordan Montgomery be forcing his way into the conversation as part of the solution?  It’s surprising that he wasn’t getting more love prior to this spring, but he’s put his name in the mix for ’17 rotation and as a future cog.  Let’s get to know him:

Rotoprofessor Rankings:
Preseason – Not Ranked

Throws – Left-Handed

Age – 24 (turns 25 in May)

2016 Statistics:

LevelInningsERAWHIPK/9BB/9GO/AO
Double-A102.12.551.278.533.170.99
Triple-A37.00.971.009.222.161.41

Thoughts:
All told he owns a minor league career 8.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 1.21 GO/AO, so he clearly has all of the makings of a strong starter.  Generally taller pitchers (he’s listed at 6’6”) have control issues early in their career, but Montgomery hasn’t and that’s a great sign.  He also has seen an uptick in his velocity, further helping him develop his overall stuff.  Just look at how MLB.com described his repertoire:

“Montgomery succeeded with an 88-92 mph fastball because he commands it to both sides of the plate and uses his 6-foot-6 frame to throw it on an extreme downhill plane. He has been even better now that he’s working at 92-94, and he maintained his newfound velocity throughout last season. His fading changeup is his best secondary pitch, and he also can freeze hitters with the depth on his curve and mix in an upper-80s cutter.”

So why hasn’t he garnered the attention?  His upside isn’t as high as others in the Yankee system, let alone some of the elite starting pitchers around the game.  He’s not likely to be a strikeout per inning pitcher at the highest levels, likely falling into the 7.75-8.25 range (which isn’t bad at all).  We also can’t ignore the GO/AO rate at Double-A, especially since he’ll be calling Yankee Stadium home.  This spring he recorded 23 ground outs compared to 20 air outs, so it is something to watch.

That doesn’t mean he can’t pitch well in the Majors, but he’s more of a low-end starter (think #4 or #5) as opposed to a future ace.  Keep that in mind, though he has the potential to be another piece of New York’s future (and one that will arrive at some point in ’17).

Current Grade – B-
Upside Grade – B

Sources – MLB.com, MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference

Grading System:
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

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