In 2012, his freshman year, Montgomery helped the Univ. of South Carolina reach their third straight College World Series finals.
And in 2013, he posted a 1.48 ERA—11th in the nation.
In 2014, Montgomery got drafted by the Yankees (see Transactions below).
In 2017, Baseball America rated Jordan as the 13th-best prospect in the Yankees organization.
Scouts have rated Montgomery as a good bet to reach his big league rotation potential, probably at the back end.
MLB debut (April 12, 2017): Montgomery became the first Yankee lefthander to strike out at least 7 batters in his MLB debut.
Asked what he took away from the 8-4 victory at Yankee Stadium in which he gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks, Montgomery was direct.
“That I belong here (because of) the seven strikeouts and the guys I did it against,” said Montgomery, who whiffed Evan Longoria and Kevin Kiermaier twice each.
In 2020, Jordan missed pitching and baseball during the coronavirus.
Montgomery used the time off to "fill out" and be well-cut for Spring Camp in July 2020. So, he met with Eric Cressey, the long-time private performance coach in Florida, before returning home to South Carolina.
After a strong 2017 campaign, Jordan underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2018. But rehab setbacks delayed his return to the mound in 2019—he had just two appearances on his resume since going under the knife. So Jordan wanted some advice and a head start on 2020.
Cressey, who had worked with Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber, put Montgomery through a battery of evaluations, including a "movement screening" that relays the ways in which an athlete uses his body. He walked Montgomery through the data and offered him some individualized training programs for the winter. Jordan learned the importance of stabilizing his joints' large range of motion, or more specifically, "How to distribute force over different joints uniformly so that stress isn't all going one place," Cressey said.
The Yankees hired Cressey to become their new director of player health and performance.
"What was huge for (Montgomery) was just learning how to effectively transfer force," Cressey said. "And, learned how his body works." (Jake Kring-Schreifels - Yankees Magazine - Sept., 2020)
Montgomery is a native of Sumter, a charming, historic city of about 40,000 that sits near the middle of South Carolina, about a two-hour drive inland from Myrtle Beach and an hour east of Columbia, where the University of South Carolina is located. Named after Thomas Sumter, whose bellicosity against the British during the American Revolution earned him the nickname “Carolina Gamecock,”
it is known today for its picturesque parks, Shaw Air Force Base and sports -- particularly baseball. It is the home of former Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson, and although there hasn’t been a professional team in Sumter since the Expos’ Class A affiliate left in 1991, locals still eagerly come out to 2,000-seat Riley Park on summer nights to watch the American Legion Post 15 team known as the “P-15s.” Sumter Post 15 has fielded a team every year since 1929, making it the second-oldest American Legion team in the country, and with more than a dozen state championships, the P-15s are “the team to be on” for any baseball-loving kid in Sumter.
“I strived and worked for that and was lucky enough to make the P-15s when I was 14,” says Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery. “I played for them for five summers, and that put me around older guys and older competition and really taught me how to work hard and just provided a lot of life lessons, also.”
If the P-15s are akin to the New York Yankees of South Carolina summer ball, then Wallie Jones was the team’s Casey Stengel. When the South Carolina House of Representatives “learned with regret” that Dr. Jones, a dentist by trade, was stepping down after 25 years of coaching the P-15s in 2012, it passed a resolution thanking him “for his many years of helping to build boys into men through baseball and the example of a fine character worthy of emulation.”
Under Jones’ strict guidance, players were expected to show up early and get their work in before practice officially started at 5:37 p.m. sharp (5:37 adding up to 15, naturally). They wore long sleeves and pulled heavy sleds and ran poles in the summer heat. The players were building character, but also the stamina necessary for pitchers to last late into ballgames. No detail was too small, no task unimportant.
They’re going to be playing baseball for a short period in life -- it’s like a flower that blooms -- but they’re going to be men the rest of their life,” says the 74-year-old Jones. “We wanted to make sure that they’re good men because, at some point, everybody’s going to take the jersey off.”
Those lessons have indeed stuck with Montgomery. The 28-year-old treats every bullpen and every game as if it’s the World Series, so that when he does get there, he’s ready. And based on what Montgomery has done in big spots so far, there’s no reason to think he won’t succeed. (Nathan Maciborski - Yankees Magazine - August, 2021)
June 2014: In the fourth round, the Yankees took Jordan Montgomery from the University of South Carolina. He signed for $424,000, via scout Billy Goodwin
- Jan 10, 2020: Jordan and the Yankees avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal for $805,000.
- Jan 15, 2021: Jordon and the Yankees avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2.13 million,
|Nickname:||Gumby or Monty||Position:||LHP|
|Birth City:||Sumter, SC|
|Draft:||Yankees #4 - 2014 - Out of Univ. of So. Carolina|
Montgomery has very good location with his 91-96 mph 4-seam FASTBALL, mostly locating it on the inside corner that features run with good control and gets a 60 grade. The angle Jordan gets on the pitch produced by his large body helps mitigate any lack of velocity. He also has a 90-93 mph SINKER.
Then, he pitches away with his plus 83-86 mph CHANGEUP (rated a 60 on the 20-80 scout scale), his best pitch thanks to exceptional feel for it. He also has a fringy, slow 79-82 mph CURVEBALL that is a 45 or 50, and an 84-87 mph SLIDER to give hitters a different look, that also gets a 50 grade. And his control is 55.
"When I have my changeup, I'm able to go deep in the game because it makes my fastball that more efficient," Montgomery said, "and I can throw it in and catch them guessing every now and then."
Jordan is all about pitching. He loves his craft.
2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 18.4% of the time; Sinker 23.4% of the time; Change 19.2%; Slider 12.9%; and Curve 26% of the time.
2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 24.9% of the time; Sinker 16.1%; Change 22.1%; Slider 9%; and Curve 27.8% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 90.9 mph, Sinker 90.8, Change 83.6, Slider 86.9, and Curve 80.4 mph.
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 18.3% of the time, his Sinker 31.7%, Change 18.3%; and Curve 31.7% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 92 mph, Sinker 91.8 mph, Changeup 82.7, and Curve 81.7 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 20.3% of the time, his Sinker 27%, Change 24.2%; Curve 22.3%; and Cutter 6.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 92.6 mph, Sinker 92.5 mph, Changeup 83.3, Curve 80.7 mph, and Cutter 89.3 mph.
Jordan gets good downhill angle. He has a lot of deception and he gets a lot of groundballs.
Montgomery is a lefthanded starting pitcher.
June 2, 2017: The Yankees continue to rave about Montgomery's ability to pitch out of trouble. As he savored the first scoreless performance of his career, the young lefthander departed Rogers Centre replaying the eight-pitch showdown with Troy Tulowitzki that ended his outing.
"I felt good today. They've got a really good lineup," Montgomery said. "Tulo gave me a little trouble that last at-bat, just fighting everything off. He'd already seen everything, it was his third AB. I just tried to mix it up with my fastball up and change his eye level."
That brand of poise is what entices the Yankees about Montgomery.
"He's able to expand at times with his breaking balls," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's able to throw changeups, he's able to throw off-speed behind in the count. The kid can pitch." Girardi said Montgomery had an excellent curveball at his disposal to work out of jams. Montgomery also used his fastball, changeup and slider effectively.
Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner said he has noticed Montgomery generating a lot of awkward swings and misses, as opponents have a difficult time picking up his off-speed stuff.
"He creates a pretty good angle because he's a tall guy and lefthanded. He's a little bit funky, throws 92, 93, 94 mph," Gardner said. "He's got really good stuff. I think if you look at the last couple of years coming up through the Minor Leagues, you look at his numbers and he's been pretty dominant. You don't expect a guy to come up here and just dominate, but you kind of get a good feel for what a guy is capable of doing. That's why he's here." (B Hoch - MLB.com - June 3, 2017)
March 10, 2020: “We've been really excited from the get-go with him, from the bullpens to his uptick in velocity,” Boone said. “The curveball was good, the changeup was good. You saw even a couple of at-bats where he was behind in the count, just not real comfortable swings even on his fastball, then he finished off the outing with that cutter. There's a lot to be excited about with Monty.”
Boone said that he believes Montgomery’s increased offseason training has helped him push forward, putting his 2018 Tommy John surgery in the rear-view mirror.
“From a body standpoint, he's in a better place physically than I've ever seen him,” Boone said. “I think it's apparent when you visually check him out. I think he's more physically imposing now, and it's showing with the velo.” (B Hoch - MLB.com - March 10, 2020)
- 2020 Season: The Yankees were cautious with Montgomery in 2020, a smart thing to do for a pitcher who was returning from Tommy John surgery in a season in which every good team made the playoffs. The 5.11 ERA in his 10 starts wasn’t impressive, but many of the underlying numbers were. A .320 BABIP meant that his FIP was a much sunnier 3.87, but the good stuff doesn’t end there. Compared to his promising rookie season of 2017, Montgomery walked fewer batters, struck out more, and induced more soft contact
As of the start of the 2022 season, Jordan had a career record of 19-17 with a 4.01 ERA, having allowed 51 home runs and 370 hits in 388 innings.
May 2, 2018: Jordan was on the DL with left elbow strain.
June 5, 2018-Sept 15, 2019: Montgomery was on the IL after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
- Aug 3-17, 2021: Jordan was on the IL