A riser in the K.C. system 

October, 26, 2010

Kansas City's farm system is, by acclamation, the best in the majors right now, and their stable of pitchers, especially left-handed pitchers, is tremendous. The best of that group, Mike Montgomery, spent two stints on the DL this year with elbow trouble that never led to any kind of surgery, and he showed outstanding stuff in his second AFL outing this year.

Montgomery touched 96 MPH once and worked at 91-95 with his fastball, hitting 95 at least seven other times, while also showing a plus changeup at 82-84 with good arm speed and very good command. His fastball is a four-seamer with downhill plane but not much lateral movement at all, and since he didn't locate it well he gave up several hard-hit balls. His curve was up to 74-77 but remains slow and slurvy and is more of a show-me pitch at this point than the kind of breaking ball that will neutralize left-handed hitters. Montgomery gets on top of the ball well and gets great extension out in front as he finishes his delivery, helping the fastball get in on hitters faster if he can locate it well, especially to the inner half.

If he's fully healthy he's a Top 25 prospect in the game, but the two bouts of elbow soreness are worrisome even with the improved velocity.