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Montgomery, Colas named to MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 List

by Joe Binder

MLB Pipeline has released its updated list of Top 100 prospects and the White Sox have two players on the list.

Infielder Colson Montgomery (No. 38) and outfielder Oscar Colas (No. 85) are the organization’s pair of representatives. This comes after both players were ranked in similar positions on Baseball America’s Top 100 list just a week ago.

This news is much welcomed for the White Sox, who were shut out of MLB Pipeline’s preseason Top 100 in 2022. Compared to the rest of the AL Central, however, Chicago finds itself in the bottom half as Cleveland leads the way with seven ranked prospects.

  1. Guardians (7)
  2. Twins (3)
  3. Tigers (3)
  4. White Sox (2)
  5. Royals (1)

Back to Montgomery and Colas, here are MLB Pipeline’s scouting reports for each player.

Colson Montgomery (SS)

Tools: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

“One of the better two-sport athletes in the 2021 Draft, Montgomery was named Indiana’s male high school athlete of the year after setting Southridge High’s (Huntingburg, Ind.) basketball career scoring record and leading the Raiders to their first state 3-A baseball championship. Indiana offered him a baseball scholarship and the opportunity to walk on its basketball team, but he signed for $3,027,000 after the White Sox selected him 22nd overall. As a 6-foot-4 lefty-swinging shortstop with offensive upside, he repeatedly gets compared to Corey Seager.”

“Montgomery has impressed evaluators with his ability to make advanced swing decisions for a youngster, rarely chasing pitches out of the strike zone while laying off difficult offerings and pounding the ones he should. He has focused on controlling the zone, using the entire field and making consistent hard contact early in his pro career. With his hitting ability, bat speed, projectable strength and leverage, he should provide at least solid power once he starts launching more balls in the air.”

“While it’s natural to wonder if a big shortstop with average speed can stay at the position as he matures physically and slows a bit, the White Sox believe Montgomery will be able to do so. His quick first step and athleticism enable him to get to balls and his solid arm strength allows him to complete plays. Seager overcame similar doubts and even if Montgomery shifts to the hot corner, his bat still should make him a star.”

via MLB Pipeline

Montgomery will enter his age-21 season next year, and will likely get to start at Double-A Birmingham. Across Low-A, High-A, and Double-A last season, Montgomery hit .274/.381/.429 with 11 home runs, and really didn’t show too many signs of struggling until he tired towards the end of the season with Birmingham (.146/.192/.292 in 52 plate appearances). With refreshed legs and sights set on the big leagues in the not-too-distant future, it wouldn’t be out of the possibility that Montgomery sees some time in the majors by the end of the 2024 season if all goes well in the minors this year.

Oscar Colas (OF)

Tools: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 45 | | Arm: 65 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

“Colas spent three years splitting time between Cuba’s Series Nacional and Japan’s minor Western League, getting a seven-game cup of coffee with Japan’s big league Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. A dispute over the legality of his contract with the Hawks resulted in him being granted free agency in December 2020 and he elected to wait until the following signing period for the White Sox to have enough money in their international pool, landing a $2.7 million bonus in January 2022. Yet another potential Cuban star in the organization, he impressed in his U.S. debut by batting .314/.371/.524 with 23 homers and getting better at each level while rising from High-A to Triple-A.”

“Colas is an aggressive hitter who combines a quick left-handed stroke and impressive strength to create well-above-average raw power, with most of his home run pop going to his pull side. Yet he also shows adaptability at the plate, using the entire field and toning down his approach with two strikes and also against left-handers. He worries less about power in those situations and just lets his hands work, and he batted .362 versus southpaws last year.”

Though he moves well for a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder, Colas possesses just fringy speed and will have to maintain his conditioning to retain it. He spent most of his first U.S. season in center field but is destined for right field, where he’ll have average range and a well-above-average arm. Hyped as “The Cuban Ohtani” before signing with Chicago, he pitched only briefly in Cuba and Japan and showed off a fastball that reached 95 mph.

via MLB Pipeline

Colas, on the other hand, looks pretty set to open the 2023 season as the White Sox’ starting right fielder. He had a very strong year offensively and defensively across High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, hitting a combined .314/.371/.524 with 23 home runs. He doesn’t have much left to prove in the minor leagues, and will likely receive the majority of his playing time in 2023 on the South Side

Be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th for updates on Montgomery and Colas all season long!

Featured Image: @KristaDestinee/Twitter

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