New York Yankee Player Profiles: Jordan Montgomery poised to have a breakout season

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery
Apr 21, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the New York Yankees will face the Baltimore Orioles in game 4 of the season. The Yankees are 1-2, and the Orioles are 3-0. Starting for the Yankees will be Jordan Montgomery, who, two years out from this Tommy John surgery, is poised to become an important part of the Yankee’s rotation. Tonight he will face Jorge Lopez for the Orioles. Lopez, in six games during the spring, pitched to an ERA of 2.75. Montgomery’s spring ERA was .090. Let’s get to know him better.

The New York Yankees Jordan Montgomery is another Yankee player who has kept private life private. The 28-year-old was born in Sumter, South Carolina. Monty is tall, 6’6′, and weighs 225 pounds. He played baseball as a boy. When in Sumter High School, he played baseball and, in his senior year, was named the state’s player of the year.

After high school, he enrolled in the University of South Carolina. He played for the South Carolina Gamecocks, where he again received awards, this time Freshman of the week and Freshman All-American. He played well enough in college to warrant the attention of major league baseball scouts.

In the 2014 major league baseball draft, Jordon Montgomery was selected in the fourth round by our Yankees. After his college year, the New York Yankees limited his pitching to 19 innings as he went 1-1 with an ERA of 3.79. In 2015 Jordan was promoted to the Charleston River Dogs, but shortly thereafter, he was promoted again to the Florida State League for the advanced A Tampa Yankees. Montgomery’s pitching continued to impress the Yankees, and in 2016, he began the season with the Trenton Thunder but was soon promoted to the AAA Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Riders. While there, he pitched the triple-A National Championship game in which he won for the Rail Riders.

On April 12, 2017, Monty was promoted to the major leagues, where he made his New York Yankees debut against the Tampa Bay Rays in a no-decision outing. In his second game, he earned his first major league win against the Chicago White Sox. On June 9th, he pitched a career-high seven innings while striking out eight against the Orioles. Before the All-Star Break, Montgomery pitched to a 3.65 ERA, striking out 87 batters in 91 and third innings. On July 25, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Reds. In 29 starts in 2017, Montgomery finished with a 9-7 record and a 3.88 ERA.

After six starts when he was 2-0 with an ERA of 3.86. on May 1, he left a game against the Astros with elbow tightness. He was put on the IL, and it was discovered that he had a flexor strain and that he would be out 6-8 weeks. But in June, other problems arose, and he was scheduled to have Tommy John surgery which typically takes a year to a year and a half to recover from. In 2019 he started the season on the 60 days IL and had been recovering from the surgery. His recovery accelerated with him pitching in rehab games. Boone let it go slow with him, so he could gain full pitching strength as well as extending him in innings.

Montgomery has two nicknames, “Gumby” that he got in college and “Monty,” used by many of his fellow players. He has two older Brothers. He has received many awards in his short career: Other than the awards mentioned earlier, he has received the Pitcher of the Week twice, once for the Dogs and once for Trenton, Baseball America double-A All-Star [1], and Postseason All-Star while at Trenton, among others.

Last year Monty didn’t have the best of seasons, going 2-3 with an ERA of 5.11 but rebound nicely in the postseason with an ERA of 2.25. His career average ERA is 4.14. Any MLB pitcher that can keep his ERA around four can have a successful career in baseball. During spring training earlier this year, he had a near-perfect ERA of 0.90 in  3 games, allowing only 3 hits and no home runs while walking four batters.