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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Angels (5/25-5/27)

After dropping two out of three games to the Rangers in a slugfest series, the Yankees will head back to New York for a three-game set against the Angels as they try to take back the AL East from the Red Sox. The Yankees sit only a single game back of the Red Sox, while the Angels are four and a half back of the defending World Series champion Astros, who the Yankees face following this series. With the Red Sox playing the surprisingly good Atlanta Braves, if the Yankees could take two of three or sweep this series, they could very likely be sitting atop the AL East heading into their series against Houston.

Prospect Spotlight: Jordan Montgomery

Jordan Montgomery is a left handed pitcher who was selected in the 4th round with 122nd pick in the 2014 MLB draft to the Yankees.  After his selection, Montgomery started working his way up the Yankees farm system. In just two seasons, he has risen from rookie ball all the way to Triple-A. It is only a matter of time before his name will be talked within Yankees fans. Needless to say, Montgomery has the track record to back up his sudden rise. In his career, Jordan sports a 2.61 ERA in 60 games (56 starts) and shares a solid 25-14 record. Those statistics combine all his time in the farm system, and if you just single out this recent season, you can see the improvement he made. In 2016, he started all 26 games he appeared in had a 2.13 ERA (AA & AAA combined) and claimed to a record of 14-5.
photo via MiLB.com

As noted, 2016 showed a vast improvement by Montgomery. The lefty has a four pitch arsenal that includes a change-up, sinker, fastball, and slider. His best pitch is the change up, and he has great command of pitches which results in his dominating performance. Additionally, his performance in Triple-A, gave him the start for the Championship game for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. This was the topping off point for an incredible couple of games in Scranton, where in just six games he had an unbelievable 0.97 ERA. He as well lead the Yankees farm system with 132 strikeouts, showing that he is able to strike out batters in high numbers, striking out 8.7 batters per nine innings pitched last season. His performance led him to being ranked the #19 prospect in the Yankees farm system according to MLB.com, and he is the second highest ranked left-handed pitcher in the system.

It is too early to draw conclusions on the type of pitcher Montgomery will be in the majors, but with what he has accomplished so far, it is fair to say that he has a chance of pushing his way to the major leagues early in 2017. If all goes well, you might just witness Montgomery make a run for a 25-man roster spot out of spring training in what looks like a fierce competition for a few bullpen spots. All in all, Jordan Montgomery has a chance to become an asset for the Yankees future. So do yourself a favor and keep an eye on this rising prospect who you may very well see in pinstripes in the near future.

Article by: Daron Vazquez