After not selecting a prep player in the first-round since 2012, the White Sox finally broke the trend.
With the 22nd overall pick, the organization selected high school shortstop Colson Montgomery out of Southridge High School (Indiana). Recent mock drafts and evaluators predicted the Sox would take the 19-year-old if he was still on the board, and those reports turned out to be spot on in a somewhat rare feat of predicting.
Name: Colson Montgomery
School: Southridge High School (IN)
Weight: 190 lbs
D.O.B.: 2/27/02 (19-years-old)
Committed: Indiana University
MLB Pipeline Grades:
– Hit: 50
– Power: 55
– Run: 45
– Arm: 55
– Field: 50
– Overall: 50
– MLB Pipeline: 25
– Baseball America: 43
– FanGraphs: 45
– Keith Law (The Athletic): 84
Why it Makes Sense
Montgomery is a multi-sport athlete, having also excelled on his high school’s basketball and football teams. It’s this same athletic versatility that makes him one of the most physical prep players in his class. All of these characteristics are what the White Sox are missing in their prospects up the middle throughout the organization, making this selection a no-brainer.
At 6-foot-4, Montgomery is a strong lefty with a swing that scouts believe will allow him to hit for average and power with further development. While some publications bring up swing and miss concerns due to his long levers and the advanced pitching he’ll now be facing, the 19-year-old has plenty of upside and bat speed to grow as a power threat in the box. During the draft process, he’s even drawn comparisons to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager for his similar frame and build at this point in his playing career.
In the field, Montgomery was a shortstop in high school and would like to stick there professionally. His build and slightly slower than average speed lead some to suspect he’ll have to move to third, though he will most certainly be able to prove himself first at his natural position in the organization. His 50-grade defense given his age and experience is already impressive, so we’ll see how he progresses with his athleticism.
For the White Sox, it’s time for them to get younger in the system after graduating a majority of their top prospects. Being in need of middle infielders and left-handed bats, Montgomery essentially check every possible box. Let’s also face it, the team needs prospects who they can include in future trade packages.
By trending younger, the Sox can develop talent while the need for immediate major league contributors is low, and accumulate interesting trade pieces to use at the deadline, in the offseason, or beyond. This isn’t to say they’ll look to get rid of Montgomery right away, rather he and other young players the team drafts could provide more flexibility in future deals – something that hasn’t really been possible with Chicago’s current group of prospects.
Once he officially signs with the Sox, Montgomery will likely head to Arizona for some tuning up before spending the remainder of the season with Low-A Kannapolis.
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