Mid-Season Report Card: Jordan Montgomery

Grade: B+

Although Jordan Montgomery didn’t join the Yankees starting rotation until the team’s eighth game of the season on April 12th, the young lefty has quickly established himself as one of the top young pitchers in the American League this season.  After beating out Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa and Chad Green for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, Montgomery has been nothing but solid to start his big league career. The young man they call Gumby has been perhaps – aside from Luis Severino – the Yankees’ best starting pitcher all season.

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images



First Half Performance:

Through his first 15 career starts, Montgomery has pitched to a 6-4 record with a steady 3.63 ERA over 87.0 innings pitched.  While he struggled with his control earlier in the season, his WHIP has steadily dropped over the last month and currently sits at 1.207.  Montgomery has also struck out 83 batters, or roughly one per every inning pitched.  He does not have overpowering stuff, but his high arm slot and good secondary pitches have been enough to keep hitters off-balanced all season and he has given the Yankees a chance to win in virtually every one of his starts.

Here's a GIF of him making Evan Longoria look absolutely foolish with his slider:




Expectations for Second Half:

Montgomery finished June with a strong 2.59 ERA and 1.05 WHIP during the month, so it doesn’t appear he is showing any signs of slowing down.  He has pitched enough that teams should have a good enough scouting report on him, but it doesn’t look like hitters have fully figured him out, which should allow Monty to maintain his success over the course of the entire season.  Montgomery allowed five home runs in June, his most for a single month this season, but he also posted a career best .216 BAA during the month, so perhaps the spike in home runs is just a bit of bad luck.  Assuming he can continue to locate his pitches well and use his off-speed stuff effectively, Montgomery will continue to play a big role on a pitching staff looking to push New York towards a playoff berth.

Conclusion:

While it's perhaps foolish to expect Montgomery to pitch at an ace-like level this season, he has the stuff to succeed in the major leagues and should continue to pitch well enough for the Yankees to win in his starts every time he takes the ball. Montgomery has received a lot of praise and comparisons to Andy Pettitte, and if he can become even half the pitcher Pettitte was for New York in his career, the Yankees will be in very good shape for years to come.


Article by:  Andrew Natalizio

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