Jordan Montgomery Earns Big League Invite
NEW YORK—After a very impressive 2016 season at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 24-year-old lefthander Jordan Montgomery is likely to get his first taste of big league life when he is invited to major league spring training.
"He had a career-changing season,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said of the 6-foot-5, 225-pound lefty taken in the fourth round of the 2014 draft out of South Carolina and signed for $424,000. "He made a big step forward and picked up velocity. He is starting to honor what our amateur scouts saw.’’
A big part of that process has been an evolving fastball.
"When he was a kid the velocity was 91- to 93-mph. He got it to 94-mph in 2015 and was at 95-mph in 2016,’’ Cashman said of the Sumter, S.C. native who went 20-7, 2.87 for the Gamecocks in 44 games. His average velocity rose and the numbers are obviously incredible.’’
Working with a slider, curve and change to go with the fastball, Montgomery went 14-5, 2.13 in 25 combined starts for Trenton and Scranton. In 139.1 innings Montgomery gave up 122 hits, whiffed 134 and walked 45. After being promoted to Scranton in early August, he made six starts, won the final five and went 5-1, 0.97.
According to Cashman other teams have inquired about Montgomery in trade talks.
"He is a starter and lefthanded,’’ the GM said. "His name comes up.’’
Considering he has worked in only six Triple-A games Montgomery is likely to return there to open the season. Yet, when you figure in the inexperience behind Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda and that injuries always surface, it’s not out of the question Montgomery could surface in the Bronx at some point in 2017. Remember Chad Green and Luis Cessa were considered rotation insurance at Triple-A at this time last year and combined to make 17 big league starts in 2016.
• Amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer stayed inside the organization to fill a national crosschecker opening created when D.J. Svihlik left to become a coach at Vanderbilt by promoting Steve Kmetko from area scout. Kmetko was credited by Oppenheimer for signing Rob Refsnyder, Greg Bird and Mark Melancon.
• The Yankees did some shuffling of their minor league managers, moving Luis Dorante from low Class A Charleston to Rookie-level Pulaski and Pat Osborn from high Class A Tampa to Charleston.
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George King covers the Yankees for the New York Post