Thanks to a display of great potential, Carson Montgomery committed to play his college baseball at Florida State University two years ago. Now, it is possible that he never toes the rubber for the Seminoles. The product of Windermere High School in Florida could be a first-round draft pick.
Montgomery is currently the 34th-best prospect according to MLB.com, and he is one of the best high school pitchers in the draft. The ball comes out of his hand well, and he throws from three-quarters arm slot. His quick arm and athleticism also play well into his delivery. He possesses good size as well, at six-feet, two-inches tall and 200 pounds.
Montgomery impressed scouts during the 2019 showcase season. He struck out the side in his lone inning of work at the Under Armour All-America game, and he pitched well in the PDP League, a development league held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. Invitations for the PDP League are extended to the top-80 draft prospects.
The clear strength to Carson Montgomery’s game is his fastball-breaking ball combination. Scouts grade his fastball as a 60/80, and it can hit 95 MPH on the radar gun with live action. His breaking ball is listed as a slider with plus potential, but it can act more like a slurve. This power breaking ball typically sits in the high-70 MPH range, but can also reach the low-80s.
Despite the success Montgomery has had with his breaking ball complementing his fastball, scouts feel his changeup can develop into the second-best pitch in his arsenal. The pitch has not been a necessity in high school, but he does show a good feel for it with fading action.
Montgomery brings a lot of poise to the mound, more so than most prep pitchers. He displays consistency in his ability to repeat his delivery, leading to a lot of strikes. Additionally, he brings a good game plan to the mound, demonstrating both his baseball IQ and his ability to pitch rather than throw. That is significant for someone classified as a power pitcher. Even more impressive is that he has shown all of this as a 17-year old, who will not turn 18 until late August.
As one of the most polished high school pitchers in the draft, Montgomery does not show too many holes in his game. One weakness would be his lack of true three-pitch mix although, as mentioned, scouts feel that his changeup can develop into his second-best pitch. The development of a third pitch will be crucial to his success as a starting pitcher at the next level.
Another cause for concern is Montgomery’s commitment to Florida State University. It is possible that he can be persuaded to forgo college, depending on how high he is selected. However, the Florida native’s desire to play at FSU was so strong, he verbally committed several years ago.
It is not uncommon for top-end high school prospects to opt for college despite being projected as a high pick. Signability issues cause players to slip in the draft every year. With only five rounds in this year’s draft, it will be interesting to see how Montgomery’s college commitment impacts where he is selected.
One comparison for Carson Montgomery is to Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians. Carrasco is a little bigger than Montgomery with a more diverse pitch mix. He mixes in a curveball and sinker, but his three most-utilized pitches are a fastball, slider, and changeup. Additionally, both men throw from a three-quarter slot with quick arms.
2019 was hindered by a cancer diagnosis for Carrasco, but in 2018, he showed similar velocities to Montgomery. His average fastball velocity was 93.7 MPH, where Montgomery usually sits around 94-95. Carrasco also throws a slider that averages 83.9 MPH, where Montgomery’s can reach the low-80s. Carrasco throws those two pitches roughly the same percentage of times with his changeup the third most frequent.
In a year where the MLB Draft will be filled with college pitchers, Carson Montgomery enters as one of the most polished high school prep pitchers available to teams.
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