Jordan Montgomery was selected by the New York Yankees in the fourth round of the 2014 First-Year-Player Draft with the 122nd overall pick out of the University of South Carolina.
In his college career, Montgomery appeared in 44 games, started 42 of them and struck out 212 batters over 254 innings for the Gamecocks. He owned a 20-7 record over three college seasons along with a 2.87 ERA. During that time, he threw two complete games.
After being drafted by the Yankees, Montgomery signed and reported to Tampa to begin his professional career with the GCL Yankees. Montgomery made his professional debut on July 8, 2014, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning for the Gulf Coast League Yankees. Overall, he appeared in just three games in the GCL pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing just three earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five batters.
On July 18, 2014, he was promoted to the Staten Island Yankees where he spent the remainder of the season. With Staten Island, Montgomery went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 7 games, four starts and struck out 15 batters over 13 1/3 innings of work.
Jordan earned a promotion to the Charleston RiverDogs to start the 2015 season and was impressive. In 9 games in the South Atlantic League, he struck out 55 batters in 43 2/3 innings while earning a 4-3 record and a 2.68 ERA. His success gave him a chance to showcase his stuff at a higher level with a promotion to the Tampa Yankees on June 1, 2015.
In 16 games, 15 starts, with the Tampa Yankees Montgomery was 6-5 with a 3.08 ERA. He struck out another 77 batters over 90 2/3 innings of work, bringing his combined total to 132 strikeouts over 134 1/3 innings between the two teams.
Jordan pitched seven innings of work at least three times during the 2015 season and had maxed out at 97 total pitches in a game four times. He set a career high for strikeouts in a single game on April 12 with Charleston when he struck out nine batters, he repeated the feat on August 16 with the Tampa Yankees.
He earned pitcher of the week honors twice, the first time with the RiverDogs on May 25 when he was named South Atlantic League player of the week and the second time came in August when on August 31 he was awarded Florida State League Player of the Week honors with the Tampa Yankees. Then, after the season ended MiLB.com named him an organizational all-star.
Montgomery began the 2016 season with the Trenton Thunder and continued his success. He came into the season with improved mechanics that saw his top speed bump up to 96 miles per hour from 92 mph. With the Thunder, he earned a 9-4 record with a 2.55 ERA in 19 starts, striking out 97 batters and walking 45 batters in 102 1/3 innings.
On June 15, 2016, Montgomery struck out a career high 11 batters when he took the loss against the Hartford Yard Goats. That game he threw seven innings and allowed just 1 earned run on five hits and two walks. His success earned him All-Star honors as he represented the Thunder in the annual Eastern League All-Star Game.
Montgomery got his first taste of Triple-A when on August 2 he made a start against the Leigh Valley IronPigs. He took the loss that day allowing two earned runs on seven hits and two walks in six and 2/3 innings. Jordan pitched in six total games in the minors highest level allowing just four earned runs in 37 innings. He limited hitters to a .212 batting average against and had a 0.97 ERA for the RailRiders.
After the season had ended, Jordan was named as a Double-A All-Star by Baseball America as well as earned post-season All-Star honors from the Eastern League.
Coming into this past season, Montgomery was reaping the benefits of a change in his mechanics. The adjustment helped him add velocity so instead of the 88-92 MPH fastball he had before the draft he was throwing 91-94 MPH with regular consistency at the end of 2015. At the beginning of the 2016 season, he was reaching as high as 96 MPH on the radar gun. After his promotion to the RailRiders he saw a decrease in velocity, but that could be from it being later in the season.
His best secondary pitch is his changeup which his considered a plus-pitch that he delivers just as if he was throwing his fastball. Montgomery is continuing to develop his curveball that is becoming a top tool in his repertoire. Also, he throws a cutter that is still developing but is effective.
You cannot talk about Jordan Montgomery without talking about his ability to command his pitches. He possesses above-average to plus command of all his pitches, putting it wherever he needs to, to get the out. He has a clean delivery that he can repeat with ease allowing him to go deep into games. Overall, he projects to be a mid-rotation candidate that can go deep into games and eat innings. He has shown he can get both lefties and righties out with ease in the minors and if his development continues as is he will be able to continue that trend in the majors.
Montgomery will likely return to Triple-A in 2017 where he will be in the rotation for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. If he continues his success, it is not out of the question that he would make his major league debut sometime during the season. After the season, he will be eligible for the annual Rule 5 draft, so it is very likely the Yankees will want to protect him.