The New York Mets continue to add to their pitching depth by adding two veterans to their spring training roster. Mike Montgomery and Tommy Hunter are joining the Mets on minor league contracts in the hope of making the major league roster.
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) July 16, 2019
Chicago Cubs fans remember Montgomery as the pitcher on the mound when their 108-year World Series drought ended. He is 31-years old with experience as a starting pitcher and reliever. Last season with the Kansas City Royals, Montgomery only pitched 5.1 innings and allowed three runs. Montgomery had a terrific run from 2016-18 where he had a 3.35 ERA in 131 games (40 starts) and was amongst the lowest barrel percentages in baseball.
Montgomery heavily relies on his curveball and change-up to produce weak contact. He has messed around with a 4-seam fastball and sinker throughout his career but has not found success with either. Montgomery will battle fellow lefties Jerry Blevins, Daniel Zamora to potentially make the opening day roster.
Hunter had a solid 4.01 ERA last season, but a drop in velocity and poor analytics kept him on the free-agent market. His exit velocity (13th percentile), hard-hit rate (10th percentile), and exit velocity (4th percentile) all ranked in the bottom of the league. On the other hand, his walk rate (82nd percentile), fastball spin rate (93rd percentile), and curveball spin rate (88th) are something the Mets may look to build upon.
Hunter features three different fastballs (sinker, 4-seam, cutter), and all sit around 90-93. His out pitch is his curveball, which had its best season in 2020. Hunter threw it 23.2% of the time with a 44.9% whiff rate and a .188 average against. With Seth Lugo out for at least the first month, he has a fighting chance to take his bullpen spot.