Mike Montgomery Kicking The Door Down With Durham Bulls
Drafted by the Royals in the first round (#36 overall) in the 2008 draft he was very successful in his first full season of pro ball in 2009 which earned him a #39 prospect ranking by Baseball America and #36 by Baseball Propsectus prior to the 2010 season.
Prior to the 2011 season Baseball America ranked him as their #19 ranked prospect and Baseball Prospectus had him at #21.
The gloss was somewhat removed after a poor 2011 season with the Royals Triple-A affiliate Omaha Storm Chasers where he made 27 starts and posted a 5-11 record with a 5.32 ERA.
Heading into the 2012 season he was ranked as the #23 ranked prospect by Baseball America, #31 by MLB.com, but had fallen completely off the Baseball Prospectus Top 100 rankings.
The 2012 season was split between the Royals Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Omaha Storm Chasers where he made 27 starts and went 5-12 with a 6.07 ERA.
At the time of the trade he would be considered as a possible high upside project but the Rays have never been an organization to shy away from a project.
Montgomery Scouting Profile MLB.Com:
He spent the 2013 season making 21 starts between the Rays High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs and their Triple-A affiliate Durham Bulls posting a record of 7-9 with a 4.83 ERA.
After an uninspiring performance in the Rays minor league system in 2013 (7-9, 4.83 ERA over 21 starts) he showed signs of life in the Arizona Fall League where he played for the Salt River Raptors.
While with the Raptors he appeared in 9 games posting a 2.57 ERA (4 ER/14 IP) while striking out 14 and walking just 4. The success has continued over through the 2014 season with the Rays Triple-A affiliate Durham Bulls.
He has made 14 starts this season and has a record of 8-1 with a 3.38 ERA (30 ER/80IP). He has logged 80 innings and struck out 71 batters while only issuing 24 walks. He has allowed just 63 hits and only four home runs.
He struggled to find consistency early in the season in two games in particular. In his April 16 start against the Norfolk Tides he lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed five earned runs and on May 8th he allowed a season high 7 earned runs in just 4.1 innings of work.
The two starts combined account for 12 of his 30 earned runs (in only 7 innings pitched), 15 of his 63 hits, six of his 24 walks, and only five of his 71 strikeouts.
Over his last seven starts he seems to have settled into a groove posting a 5-0 record with an ERA of 2.44 (12 ER/44.1IP) while striking out 38, walking nine, and holding the opposition to a .179 average (28 for 156).
Andrew Friedman says that he ideally likes pitchers to kick the door down at Triple-A before believing they are ready for a crack at the major league level.
Thus far in 2014 Mike Montgomery has his foot firmly on the door and is applying pressure.