The South Carolina Gamecocks now have six alumni in the major leagues, thanks to the recent call up of former starting pitcher and All-American Jordan Montgomery.
Montgomery was called up Monday afternoon, as announced by manager Joe Girardi, after beating out Luis Cessa, Chad Green and Bryan Mitchell — all of whom have prior major league starts. As the quote goes from the article by CBS New York:
“He just kind of pitched himself into it,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who announced the decision Monday after New York beat the Rays 8-1 in its home opener. “He has four-pitch mix. He had a very good downhill angle. He’s 6-6. He’s left-handed. He was able to use his breaking ball extremely well, whether it was his curveball or his cutter. His changeup’s good. And when he locates his fastball, it’s really good.”
Montgomery was called up after only one start with the Yankees class A-Advanced team Tampa, where he threw five innings of three hit ball with an unearned run. However it was his performance in the minors last year that more than likely got Montgomery the call up.
Between split time with the AA Trenton Thunder and the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Raiders, Montgomery started 25 games with a 14-5 record, 2.13 ERA and a 145 strikeouts to 45 walks in 139 and a third innings. Even better were the six starts he gave at AAA, where he whiffed 37 batters in 37 innings while allowing only four runs.
Montgomery has spent a little over three seasons in the Yankees minor league system, spending time at all six levels before finally being called up. According to Baseball Prospectus, Montgomery is slightly ahead of schedule for an MLB start for his age and the number of innings he’s pitched.
According to data compiled in this article, at 24.4 years of age he’s slightly ahead of the average debut age for a pitcher at 24.8 years old. All but one team — ironically the Yankees — normally have their pitchers throw at least 300 MiLB innings before getting their first start. Montgomery’s thrown 297 and two-thirds.
Gamecock fans will remember Montgomery for being a three-year starter from 2012-2014. In those three years he pitched on a College World Series Final team and a Super Regional team, compiling a 20-7 record, 2.87 ERA and 212 strikeouts in 253 and two-thirds career innings.
Montgomery will throw his first pitch at 1:05 PM against the 5-3 Tampa Bay Rays.