Yankees Jordan Montgomery: Believing in the success heading into 2018?
Jordan Montgomery had a tremendous rookie season for the Yankees. But, can fantasy owners believe in his success heading into 2018?
The Yankees have made it no secret that they have championship aspirations in 2018. They continue to retool this offseason, but they will rely on those breakout players from last season to continue their performances. Aaron Judge, deservedly, gets the lion share of rookie notoriety for the Yankees thanks to his monster campaign. Yet, Jordan Montgomery was just as key for the Yanks.
Montgomery was a fourth-round pick of the University of South Carolina by New York in 2014. He found success at every stop in the minors but never held much regard among the top prospects due to the lack of overpowering stuff.
He posted no higher than a 3.79 ERA over his four tours in the minors and actually got better and better as he advanced through the upper levels. Over 51 starts before debuting in April, he notched a 2.06 ERA over 281 innings.
Once in the majors, Montgomery amassed a 3.88 ERA/144 K/51 BB line over 155 innings. Outside of two blowups, one 5 ER in May and a 6 ER dud in July, Montgomery only had four starts where he surrendered more than 4 ER.
He showed consistency and was rock solid for the Yankees, and stabilized a rotation that could have gone off the rails early on. Looking closer at his splits, Montgomery posted a 3.43 ERA on the road and a 4.38 ERA on the road. He only made one more start at home than at home, yet he managed to only surrender seven homers at Yankee Stadium compared to outside of the Bronx.
He limited both righties and lefties as well. RHH could only muster a .244 AVG/.687 OPS line over 505 at-bats. He dominated LHH also to the tune of a .195/5 HR/.662 OPS line over 87 at-bats.
Digging deeper into his batted ball data, things continue to get more promising. He posted 18% LD, 41% GB, and 42% FB rates, while also generating 74% contact and 35% chase rates.
Montgomery is a finesse pitcher. His fastball/sinker hybrid sits in the low-90s and if he misses his spot in the zone, it gets hit hard. But, his off speed offerings all excel. He uses his curveball 26% of the time, slider 13%, and changeup 18%.
He moved away from his fastball for good reason. Batters could only post a .185 AVG on his changeup, .195 AVG versus the slider, and a .171 AVG versus his curveball.
Like his few duds last season, Montgomery only had three games all season where he walked more than four batters. More impressively, Montgomery’s command was at its best to finish out the season, all the while throwing the most innings of his career. In four of his last five starts, he walked only one batter while striking out on average four batters per game.
Jordan Montgomery’s numbers continue to get better the closer and closer owners look. He lacks the ace upside that fantasy owners seek out, but his deception and off speed arsenal are already tough to square up.
If he could develop a cutter, or further refine his sinker, he could take the next step progression wise. If he could get his K ratio to near 10 K/9, he all of a sudden has fantasy SP2 or SP3 upside.
Jordan Montgomery has succeeded at every stop during his road to the majors and kept things going once in the majors. He already has the repertoire, the Yankees should be one of the better teams in the AL, and possess the best bullpen in the game. The W and QS chances will be there and his ratios are already solid.
Do not overlook Montgomery next season.