Prospect Profile: Mark Montgomery

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(Photo Credit: www.longwoodlancers.com)

Mark Montgomery | RHP

Background
A standout player at Bruton High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, Montgomery set a school record by striking out 107 batters in 60 IP as a senior. He was named to the All-District Team his final three years with the Panthers, and was also named to the All-State and All-Region Teams as a senior. Team MVP and Player of the Year honors from the Virginia Gazette and All-Daily Press followed his final year. He also ran track. Montgomery wasn’t much of a pro prospect at the time though, so he went undrafted in 2009 and headed to Longwood University.

Before heading to school, Montgomery pitched for the Fairfax Nationals of the Clark Griffith League (a wood bat collegiate summer league) after graduating. He earned a spot on the league’s All-Star Team by striking out 28 batters in 15 IP. Once at school, Montgomery started three games and came out of the bullpen in 17 others as a freshman with the Lancers. He pitched to a 5.57 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 24 walks in 63 IP, and he didn’t allow a single homer. Although he was recruited as a shortstop, he ended up on the mound.

Montgomery was installed as Longwood’s closer his sophomore year, saving six games in 22 appearances. He improved his slider and used it to strike out 45 batters in 35 IP. After the season, he headed to the Coastal Plain League (another wood bat summer league) and pitched for the Edenton Steamers. Montgomery struck out 33 and allowed just seven hits in 18 IP, prompting Baseball America (subs. req’d) to rank him as the eighth best prospect in the circuit.

Again serving as the Lancers’ closer, Montgomery allowed just a dozen hits and three earned runs in 30.1 IP as a junior. He struck out 48, and finished his career at Longwood as the school’s all-time leader in saves (16). Montgomery made a pair of appearances for the Peninsula Pilots of the Coastal Plain League after the season, striking out five of the seven men he faced. Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked him as the 18th best prospect in Virginia prior to the 2011 draft, and the Yankees selected him in the 11th round, the 359th overall pick. He signed quickly for an unknown bonus.

Pro Debut
Assigned to Short Season Staten Island after signing, Montgomery was not long for the NY-Penn League. He struck out ten of the 19 men he faced across four appearances, then was promoted to Low-A Charleston. Montgomery made 22 appearances with the River Dogs, saving 14 games and striking out 41 batters in 24.1 IP. On July 1st, his first appearance with Charleston, he struck out five Rome Braves in one inning thanks to a pair of wild pitches. All told, he struck out 51 batters in 28.1 IP after turning pro (16.20 K/9).

Scouting Report
Short and sturdy at 5-foot-11 and 205 lbs., Montgomery has a classic reliever’s profile. He’s a two-pitch pitcher, sitting 91-92 mph with the fastball and running it up to 95 on occasion. His bread-and-butter offering is a wipe-out slider that is just allergic to bats. In their draft report card, Baseball America (subs. req’d) said the pitch “grades as major league plus already.” There aren’t many kids out there touting an above-average big slider just a few weeks after their 21st birthday.

Montgomery’s biggest flaw his control, as he walked 13 batters in his pro debut (4.13 BB/9). His college walk rate was much better though (3.09 BB/9). The Yankees have made an effort to acquire players with strong makeup and work ethic in recent years, and Montgomery is no different. Earlier this summer he told Adam Himmelsbach that he’s a fan of 1am workouts, and he drinks a Red Bull in the seventh inning to get amped up for his appearance in the ninth inning.

2012 Outlook
It was only 24.1 IP, but Montgomery manhandled the Sally League and should move up to High-A Tampa to open next season. He’ll be in line for a midseason promotion if he does well there. The Yankees have little reason to hold him back; relievers should move quickly and they won’t get a real read on how his stuff plays until he gets to Double-A. Single-A kids don’t have much of a chance against a big league slider.

My Take
I think it’s impossible to not like Montgomery. He’s got the gaudy performance with the knockout pitch and scouting report to back up the stats. The Yankees have done a nice job of turning their middle-of-the-draft picks into useful players under scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, none better than David Robertson. Montgomery is cut from a similar cloth — a slightly undersized, high-strikeout right-handed reliever with a dominant breaking pitch — though he’ll probably have more of a platoon split than Robertson because of the slider. Either way, Montgomery is exactly the kind of guy that could shoot up the minor league ladder and force his way into big league consideration by 2013.

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  • Lazy Bones Andruw Jones

    By far my favorite low level pitcher to follow. Can’t help but be impressed with those strike out #’s.

  • Plank

    Does anyone know his signing bonus? With the new draft rules, I’m trying to get a better impression of what players sign for. Does anyone know where that info is available?

    • YanksFan

      I let my subscription lapse recently, but Baseball America had all that info on that website.

      • Plank

        Thanks. I don’t pay for any subscriptions on the internet, but BA is the one I keep wishing I had.

        Maybe I’ll have to break my rule and get it.

  • Thomas

    He signed quickly for an unknown bonus.

    Cashman: Alright Mark you can take slot money to sign or you can take the contract hidden behind door number two.
    Montgomery: I want the door! I want the door!
    Cashman: Are you sure?
    Montgomery: Yes, yes, the door.
    Cashman: Alright Randy, show him what’s behind door number two.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse
      • Gonzo

        What’s in the box?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx_UJxuQGXo

        Safe but could be loud.

        • Plank

          A bit of a generation gap on that one. I feel sad that I knew the UHF one but not the Family Guy one. I’m getting old.

          • Gonzo

            I loved UHF. Those characters were bananas.

  • Plank

    The Yankees have made an effort to acquire players with strong makeup and work ethic in recent years

    Slade Heathcott says hi.

    • pat

      They all can’t be angels. Plus his work ethic has never been called into question. One outta two ain’t bad.

    • Bo Knows

      I would say protecting your mother from her drunk abusive ex-husband gives Slade more than a little bit of leeway. Also word is that the fight that got him suspended happened because the catcher from the other team was planning to have Slade hit.

      • Plank

        “the New York Yankees sent him to an Alcoholics Anonymous program.”

        “Heathcott countered his high school anger with drinking. He was arrested for driving under the influence, tore up his knee playing football for Texas High School, got kicked off the baseball team for academic reasons. And kept drinking.”

        “The wildest drinking night of Slade Heathcott’s senior year started with a party. He blacked out and ended up five miles through the woods and clear across Texarkana. The police found Heathcott a bloody mess with a dangerously deep slash several inches up his right forearm. They whisked him to the emergency room.

        “I didn’t know what happened until later,” Heathcott said. “I went up to a random house and started pounding on the door. Then I punched my arm through a kitchen window. The woman who owned the house said she just bought it from a drug dealer and was really afraid. She would have shot me but said she forgot she had unloaded the gun.””

        “Of course, they asked about that fresh, nasty scar along the forearm.

        “I told the Yankees a story about how I cut it trying to hop a barbed-wire fence,” Heathcott said. “They believed it.””

        http://www.postandcourier.com/.....salvation/

        • Ted Nelson

          Having an addiction does not make you a bad person…

          And calling his work ethic into question is a bit odd… dude is an ox who was a top recruit in football and baseball.

          • Plank

            Having an addiction does not make you a bad person

            I guess it’s a good thing no one did that, then.

            • Ted Nelson

              You keep pointing to evidence of his addiction to alcohol and calling it a make-up problem. It’s a disease. The kid may or may not be a great guy with a great make-up. That he’s an alcoholic doesn’t mean his make-up is bad. You keep insisting that it does.

              • Plank

                First, I don’t keep insisting anything.

                Second, disease and make-up problem aren’t mutually exclusive. If he had paranoid delusions or schizophrenia, that would be an example of a make-up issue and a disease. Alcoholism is in the same category.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Yes, you do keep insisting he has a makeup problem. 10+ posts is insisting in my book.

                  Who made you an expert on how the Yankees evaluate makeup? They might be targeting persistence and perseverance… which Slade certainly showed by sleeping in his truck in high school.

                  • Plank

                    Who made you an expert on how the Yankees evaluate makeup?

                    And here I was, claiming I am an expert on how the Yankees evaluate makeup.

                  • Plank

                    10+ posts is insisting in my book.

                    Please tell me you actually have a book.

                  • Bryan

                    Some people are more susceptible to addictions than others. Furthermore an alcohol problem can be self inflicted, in which case there was a flaw in his make up for exposing himself to alcohol like that.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I never said he has good makeup. What I said was that alcoholism does not guarantee bad makeup. That Plank was jumping to conclusions about someone he’s probably never met.

          • Plank

            I didn’t call his work ethic into question. I was referring to his makeup. But now that you mention it, I would call missing a baseball trip a pretty bad work ethic.

            The Yankees planned to send Heathcott and a few other top prospects to the Dominican Republic for a week of baseball and culture.

            “I drank so much the night before, I blacked out,” Heathcott said. “I hurried to the airport with my bag but my passport fell out. Having to explain that is how the Yankees found out about all my drinking.”

            • Ted Nelson

              Again… the kid has an addiction. Having an addiction is a disease, not necessarily a makeup issue.

              You are also missing the point entirely… which is a trend. The point is who the Yankees are targeting. Not that they have a 100% foolproof way of detecting alcoholism in teenagers. That they appear to be making an effort to look for players that they feel demonstrate strong make-up. Not that they are always right, that they may be targeting those players as best they can. That a kid has an addiction in his teens doesn’t mean he’s got a bad make-up or that he can’t overcome that addiction.

              I really greatly dislike you.

              • Plank

                I really greatly dislike you.

                Wow, I hadn’t noticed.

                I’m glad you included such a significant detail in this baseball discussion.

                Regarding alcoholism, it certainly is a disease and he seems to be getting treatment for it, but the alcoholism, and the injuries, crime, lying, and missed work it caused is certainly a makeup issue.

                Feel free to proceed in telling me how dumb I am or argue against some point that neither I nor anyone else is making. Those seem to be your two fallback positions.

                • Ted Nelson

                  You are the one disagreeing with a point no one made. The point was that the Yankees seem to TARGET good make-up, not that they never make a mistake or have invented a foolproof way to test for teen alcoholism.

                  You are also reading into things you have no idea about, and presenting it as fact. The things you are referring to may or may not be makeup issues. The “crime” was committed in a black-out state. That’s an alcohol issue. Injuries are a makeup issue??? You’ve never lied in your life? Lying in a job interview is literally the norm according to articles I’ve read.

                  • Plank

                    I’m sure people don’t want to hear us “debate” and I certainly don’t want to do it. But…

                    You are the one disagreeing with a point no one made.

                    If you look at my original post, what I was trying to do was make a somewhat witty point highlighting that Slade is no angel. After that, I was defending from your attacks.

                    Injuries are a makeup issue???

                    Injuries sustained while breaking in to someone’s house are a makeup issue.

                    You’ve never lied in your life?

                    Of course I have. What does that have to do with anything? I don’t actually have a 14 inch member. (It’s 13 inches.)

                    Lying in a job interview is literally the norm according to articles I’ve read.

                    I’ve never done this. Have you? Also, I’m going to need to see these articles you’ve read.

                • Carl

                  LMFAO

              • JobaWockeeZ

                Not that they have a 100% foolproof way of detecting alcoholism in teenagers.

                Didn’t notice because when someone does question it you tell off that person endlessly.

        • Jose M. Vazquez..

          That we as fans know more of the player’s personal life is in contrast to the old days when nothing was spoken of personal diseases or problems. For example, I saw Gil McDougald play when I was still a young lad. It took me about 30 years to learn that he was hearing impaired. This only when I read it in a non sports related article.

          • Plank

            I wonder what kind of weird stuff players were up to back then. I love reading about Ty Cobb, that guy was a son of a bitch.

            Mickey Mantle is a guy I like less and less the more I read about him.

            • Jose M. Vazquez..

              I believe Mickey was a naive young guy that partnered up with the wrong crowd. A few of the Yankee players may have led him down the road to Perdition if that is the correct word for this.Maybe too harsh.

              • Plank

                The only thing I can’t get past with Mantle is the controversy over his liver transplant. Some kid may have died because he and his doctors didn’t disclose the cancer raging though his body and he wanted an extra few weeks on Earth.

                He may have been innocent and the doctors may have been innocent, but it seems suspicious, and in hindsight, it’s clear that the liver should have gone to someone else.

                • Jose M. Vazquez..

                  I fully agree with this as one of the contraindications for liver transplant is that the recipient has cancer. It is an absolute no no.

                • Carl LaFong

                  Lay off the Mick. I wasn’t there but if Mickey thought he had cancer, he wouldn’t have taken the liver. If anyone got screwed around in life, it was Mickey, & because he was from another time & place & didn’t know any better, he drank the pain away.

                  At his core, he was a great guy & he was flat out the most talented ballplayer I ever saw. There was way too much placed on Mickey way too soon, & w/that knee injury in the ’51 series & his dad dying shortly thereafter w/Mickey all of 20 & suddenly he’s the head of his family and he’s supposed to become next DiMaggio or even Ruth playing in the big city — too much!

                  It’s a wonder he didn’t flame out altogether. Instead, he became the best damned ballplayer on the best baseball team in in the game for the next 13 years, & then, he had to live w/the fact he didn’t measure up to all the prognosticators predictions as his body broke down way too soon due to all the injuries and booze. Unfair! Mickey will always be my favorite ballplayer, & even w/all that’s happened since, he’s still recognized as one of the best to ever play the game.

    • MattG

      Heathcott’s makeup was thoroughly scrutinized. The Yankees appreciate how he’s overcome his parent’s drug problems. This is not an example of overlooking makeup by any means.

      • Plank

        You’re saying he has a strong makeup?

        He had to enter AA after he got drafted, he should have entered AA before he got drafted, and he admitted lying to the Yankees.

        His makeup negatively affected his playing career. How is that not a makeup issue?

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s a disease issue, not a make-up issue… He may or may not have strong make-up. Alcoholism is not necessarily a make-up issue. It’s totally possible that the kid is a great guy who will persevere through his addiction. It’s also possible he’s a total schmuck. I don’t know. Not sure why you’ve already decided he’s the later. Reports are that the Yankees did their homework and were confident that at that point in that draft the risk was worth the reward. That doesn’t mean they didn’t/don’t like his make-up or do/don’t target guys with strong make-up and work ethics.

          • Plank

            Reports are that the Yankees did their homework and were confident that at that point in that draft the risk was worth the reward.

            I’m going to need to see these reports.

            That doesn’t mean they didn’t/don’t like his make-up or do/don’t target guys with strong make-up and work ethics.

            Is this proven fact or your own speculation? You are presenting it as fact. I’m gonna need a source.

            • Ted Nelson

              “Is this proven fact or your own speculation? You are presenting it as fact. I’m gonna need a source.”

              No. I am presenting it as a possibility. “That doesn’t mean…” is not the same as “that means.” Are you a native English speaker. I ask in all seriousness.

              “I’m going to need to see these reports.”

              http://riveraveblues.com/2011/.....ory-48085/
              Here’s one example. See how easy that is.

              • Plank

                That link doesn’t show “Reports are that the Yankees did their homework and were confident that at that point in that draft the risk was worth the reward.”

                That link from two years after he was drafted simply shows that the Yankees drafted him and that he suffered from the problems we’ve been discussing.

                Get back to me with those reports.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Seriously? Do you read English?

                  “The Yankees, well known for demanding character of players in pinstripes, did a good deal of homework before investing a $2.2 million signing bonus in Heathcott. They talked to Norton at length. He was bullish.”

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Waste of time.

                  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                    Wouldn’t be surprised if he just clicked on the link you provided, but didn’t clink on the link (Heathcott story) that Axisa provided.

                    • Plank

                      The link in the link is the link I previously linked to.

                      In English, Ted just linked the story I previously quoted from.

                    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                      Ok that’s fine and all but when Ted posted that link, which leads to the story you said:

                      “That link doesn’t show ‘Reports are that the Yankees did their homework and were confident that at that point in that draft the risk was worth the reward.'”

                      The story pretty much covered that.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      It literally says verbatim that the Yankees did their homework. Verbatim.

                    • Plank

                      Jesse,

                      This is a secret, so don’t tell Ted, but when he starts turning in to too much of a wanker I just demand sources from him, then tell him his sources aren’t good enough. It drives him nuts and keeps him from posting for a few minutes while he Googles. I only do this after he demands sources from others and I never comment on anything he says unless he’s commenting on something I wrote, specifically to avoid conversations like the one in this post.

                      The funny thing is, he never finds sources that support his claim. If I wanted to get technical I could claim, quite fairly, that Gene Sapakoff is a questionable source considering the disjointedness of his writing, the fact that he writes for a small town paper in SC, and he almost certainly has very few sources in the Yankees front office to be able to make claims about their drafting strategy. Ted also quotes multiple reports, this is only one flimsy one.

                      This is a prospect profile of Mark Montgomery after all. And this all built off a one liner I made about Slade having problems, which is clear to anyone.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “This is a secret, so don’t tell Ted, but when he starts turning in to too much of a wanker I just demand sources from him, then tell him his sources aren’t good enough. It drives him nuts and keeps him from posting for a few minutes while he Googles.”

                      That has literally never once happened before.

                      “The funny thing is, he never finds sources that support his claim.”

                      It says verbatim what I claimed. Almost word for word. Other commenters recognize that. Are you really that disjointed from reality? Jesse agrees it’s a legit source… and you are trying to tell Jesse it’s not a legit source?

                    • http://twitter.com/sprotster sprot sprotster

                      Ted Nelson is a disease

                • thenamestsam

                  I’m going to go with Plank on this one. The kid clearly had a ton of trouble growing up and I have nothing but sympathy for him. It sounds like he had a rough childhood, and that doesn’t make him a bad person, but in my understanding makeup refers to basically any non-baseball related factors that are important. In this case, Heathcott pretty clearly had and has negative makeup. That doesn’t mean he’s not a good guy, it just means that aspects of his personal life-his relationship with his family, his drinking, make it harder for him to realize his baseball talent and could potentially negatively influence others. That’s bad makeup to me.

                  It’s true that this doesn’t prove the Yankees aren’t targeting players with good makeup, but it is certainly a relevant point in the discussion.

                  • Carl

                    Well said, I agree. It’s getting old TED, the personal attacks, get a grip!!

                    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                      I’ve gotten into arguments with Ted in the past, but how is he attacking him? To be honest, you’d have to be pretty thin skinned to feel “attacked” by Ted, or anyone on here quite frankly.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Plank literally read an article and denied that it said verbatim what I said it did (that the Yankees did their homework. How is asking if Plank reads English a personal attack? It’s a serious question. Plank’s reading comprehension has been lacking in a number of discussions we’ve had. There’s nothing wrong with being a non-native English speaker and I a have honestly asked Plank if this is the case. Wondering if Plank purposefully ignores things or struggles with the language.

                    • Plank

                      Ted,

                      I’m denying that the source says the Yankees did their homework on Slade’s makeup. Where’s the source on that? This article only says that they did their homework and talked to the coach. They could have talked about anything.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Are you really serious?

                      “The Yankees, well known for demanding character of players in pinstripes, did a good deal of homework before investing a $2.2 million signing bonus in Heathcott. They talked to Norton at length. He was bullish.”

                      Character and makeup are synonyms in this case, in my opinion. Are you really that stupid, or are you really that pathetic that you want to argue over semantic differences between “character” and “makeup?”

                      Again… if you don’t see that the homework was on his character based on that sentence I have to question your mastery of the English language.

                    • Plank

                      Ted,

                      Allow me to correct myself, you originally claimed the source said the Yankees were confident that the risk was worth the reward on Heathcott. Where does it say that?

                    • Plank

                      I’M going to have to question YOUR mastery of the English language. Without some kind of test score, I just have to assume that you have a very limited knowledge of the English language. Perhaps you can link to some source showing your skill in English? I will also accept a scanned copy of your SATs, GREs, LSATs, or MCATs.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “Perhaps you can link to some source showing your skill in English?”

                      I got a 720 on the verbal of the SATs big guy.

                      “Allow me to correct myself, you originally claimed the source said the Yankees were confident that the risk was worth the reward on Heathcott. Where does it say that?”

                      Really? They did there homework. I have provided the source I was referring to. They drafted and signed him, ergo they felt the risk was worth the reward at that point of that draft… that part is self-evident.

                      This will be the last time I ever address you. Please stop bothering me as well. Thank you.

                    • Plank

                      I got a 720 on the verbal of the SATs big guy.

                      I’m going to need more proof than just your word. Please scan and submit.

                      Also, “big guy”?!?

                      They did there homework.

                      Lots of people who get 720 on their SATs confuse ‘there’ and ‘their’.

                    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                      I got a 720 on the verbal of the SATs big guy.

                      Only a 720? Sorry to hear that.

                    • Plank

                      Only a 720? Sorry to hear that.

                      Boom!!!

                      Lawyer.

                  • Zangief

                    Totally agree. Plank won this hands down. Ted is just ignoring the point of the original post. Ted is not even saying anything really.

                    Plank could have gone with the “hyperbole” defense that Ted Nelson used once.

                    He also could have gone with “here is my source: http://www.google.com,” defense. Ted likes that one too!

                    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                      “Plank won this hands down”

                      Seriously, if your purpose on here is to “win” an argument you really need to get a life. It’s not about “winning” arguments, but expressing different ideas and possibly learning something in the process from other people. People who try to “win” arguments need to fly a kite…

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I literally gave a specific source that said verbatim what I said… and Plank couldn’t read it.

                      “Ted is not even saying anything really.”

                      I am saying that in my opinion alcoholism is not necessarily a character concern. I have said that 100,000 times now. In my opinion it’s a disease. The “makeup” I am referring to is the underlying character of a person. Good people can be alcoholics. Bad people can be alcoholics. When I hear that the Yankees are targeting people with good character, it gives me the impression they are looking at work ethic, perseverance, persistence.

                      That they are looking for traits that tend to predict MLB success. Not that they are writing off all alcoholics no questions asked. Lots of successful MLB players have well documented alcohol problems. Look at Miguel Cabrera.

                    • Zangief

                      Can’t a guy have a nice day of Ted Nelson-baiting without someone peeing in his cornflakes?

                    • Zangief

                      Yeah and someone disagrees with you about your comment about alcholism.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “Yeah and someone disagrees with you about your comment about alcholism.”

                      I have no idea what you’re talking about…

                      You can disagree, but that doesn’t mean I’m “not saying anything.”

                    • thenamestsam

                      Agreed with Jesse that trying to win arguments is silly, and really the entire problem with this conversation seems to be that both sides are trying to win rather than have a discussion, and so the conversation ends up in absurd places like who can and cannot read English, instead of the actual question that started this – does Heathcott have “makeup issues”. This is actually a relatively interesting question I think, but it’s gotten completely lost in all the stomping and name calling.

                      Anyway for the topic at hand, while I agree with Ted that plenty of good players have alcohol issues and that alone is not enough to say a kid has bad makeup the overall impression of Slade’s behavior-the brawl, the alcohol issues, the break-in(I’d consider this separate from the alcohol; many heavy drinkers still obey the law when heavily intoxicated), the pointing a shotgun at his dad – is a kid with serious issues. Not necessarily a bad kid, but someone whose current behavior is a concern. Just my .02

                    • Zangief

                      I think this is hilarious. Keep going.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “This is actually a relatively interesting question I think, but it’s gotten completely lost in all the stomping and name calling.”

                      I am trying my best to honestly discuss the issue. I am not trying to win anything.

                      I literally posted a source that said verbatim what I said… and Plank has now said several times that it doesn’t. What am I supposed to do there? I suppose just ignore it.

                      Whether or not you or Plank agree with my points… I am legitimately trying to discuss the issue and make a point: “That he was the kind of guy who could persevere through something like alcoholism, injury, and the other roadblocks he might face since he persevered through his parents’ addictions, a broken home, living in his car, a major knee injury… That’s his makeup to me. Not his addiction.”

                    • Plank

                      Thenamestsam,

                      In all seriousness, I feel pretty confident that the fact that Heathcott has makeup problems and everyone would clearly see that. Stupidly, I engaged, and feel I showed it beyond any doubt. It was only past the point of absurdity that I started messing with Ted nelson.

                    • thenamestsam

                      Ted, I think it’s a little disingenuous to say that you were doing your best to honestly discuss the issue when you posted both “I really greatly dislike you” and asked someone if they were a native English speaker. I am a native English speaker and I missed the part about the Yankees doing their HW the first time I read the article. I was skimming quickly. Plank was clearly wrong about that point and should certainly have admitted it, but it was really a tangential point to the argument (seriously, look at your thesis as described directly above; whether or not this article states that the Yankees did their HW before drafting him is not mentioned) and yet the unwillingness to drop it on both sides derails the main point of the debate.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      ““I really greatly dislike you” and asked someone if they were a native English speaker.”

                      Plank trolls me constantly… I do greatly dislike him/her as far as anonymous internet bloggers go.

                      I have questioned this before, and it is an honest question. Plank often misses things written plain as day and recently claimed to live in South Korea. I am wondering if it’s trolling, stupidity, or that English is a second language. I am “fluent” in Spanish, but I miss a whole lot of things a native speaker would pick up on. That’s pretty blunt, but it’s honest.

                      ” yet the unwillingness to drop it on both sides derails the main point of the debate.”

                      I am going to just ignore Plank from now on… however, it’s not easy for me to drop being accused of lying about something that’s there clear as day.

                    • Plank

                      Does anyone else question whether I understand English adequately enough for a baseball blog?

                      Again, I never comment of a Ted post unless it’s directed at me (or he’s picking on someone, and I don’t even do that anymore.) Who is the one that’s trolling?

                  • Ted Nelson

                    ” but in my understanding makeup refers to basically any non-baseball related factors that are important.”

                    In my understanding it refers to a person’s underlying character. To whether they exhibit traits that make them more likely to become MLB players. To me there are far more important traits than addiction: persistence, perseverance, a willingness to learn/listen…

                    Miggy, Dykstra, Srawberry, Doc… lots of successful MLB players anyone would gladly take in the late first round struggled with addiction well after they were 20. Alcoholism is more of a question mark to me than a sure thing makeup problem… especially when you’re a teenager and can try to persevere. You can get through it (or thrive in spite of it), or you cannot. Your actual makeup, to me, has a large role in determining that.

                    Not that they necessarily knew specifically that he was an alcoholic, but they knew there were makeup questions. I think it’s pretty possible that they investigated and found that he actually had a great makeup for an MLB player. That he was the kind of guy who could persevere through something like alcoholism, injury, and the other roadblocks he might face since he persevered through his parents’ addictions, a broken home, living in his car, a major knee injury… That’s his makeup to me. Not his addiction.

                    • thenamestsam

                      You say that makeup refers to “a person’s underlying character” and then to “whether they exhibit traits that make them more likely to become MLB players”. Those seem like two pretty contradictory definitions. The 2nd one I agree with 100% and is what I was trying to say. A person’s underlying character I’m not that interested in since you could never know it without knowing the person extremely well, and it doesn’t seem relevant anyway.

                      As stated above I agree with most of what you’re saying. Alcoholism is definitely not the be all and end all, but even in your words it is something you “try to persevere” through. Anything outside the pure on the field realm that constitutes an obstacle would be a makeup issue to me. There are other things on the positive side of the ledger as you list, and negative as I listed above. Anyway, I don’t think it’s worth arguing about whether or not he has good makeup since the Yankees certainly have a better idea than any of us what he’s really like, but I am interested in what people think constitutes a players “makeup”.

                    • JAG

                      I think the larger concern with Heathcott’s “makeup” isn’t the fact of his addiction, it’s the risk factors that his addiction brings along with it. Obviously a MLB player can succeed or fail either in spite of or because of an addiction to something. Babe Ruth was a notorious drinker and so was Mickey Mantle. Contrast with Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden.

                      Really, the bigger deal in this discussion (aside from some petty backbiting and sniping on the part of some of the involved parties) is that “makeup” means a lot of things, and different things to everyone. I can accept Ted Nelson’s position that an alcohol addiction that is in the process of being treated should not by itself constitute “bad makeup.” I would also suggest, though, that an alcohol addiction is a factor that one must take into account when considering a player as a whole package.

                      Another example: Josh Hamilton. I think we all are familiar with his rise-to-glory story by now. I think it’s also fairly well accepted that he now abstains from drugs and alcohol. I also think that his past addictions, in remission though they may be, are something that any GM will take into account when considering whether or not to sign him to a contract.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      thenamestsam,

                      I’ve made my points and if you disagree I’m fine with that. Alcoholism is likely behind every single “makeup” concern Plank and others have pointed to, and to me that’s a treatable disease if you have the right “makeup.”
                      I am also talking about overall makeup, weighting the good with the bad. You can have a redmark or a dozen in your file and still have a good overall makeup. To me someone who perseveres through what Slade reportedly has could very well have a good makeup in spite of his alcohol related incidents.

                      “Anyway, I don’t think it’s worth arguing about whether or not he has good makeup since the Yankees certainly have a better idea than any of us what he’s really like”

                      That’s really my point. I am not trying to say that I know he has a good makeup, nor have I ever purposefully done so. I am trying to say that he might. Plank kept insisting that Plank knew for a fact he did not.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      JAG,

                      My contention is that these risks might be entirely related to the alcohol. That if he weren’t drunk, he might never have broken into a house, missed a flight, etc. That if he can kick the drinking consistently, the underlying makeup might be good/great/fine/whatever. That the underlying character, in fact, might help him kick the drinking (and get through the injuries, improve his game, focus day-in-and-out, etc.) if it’s actually strong.

                      Strawberry and Gooden had plenty of off-field issues, but they produced 43.2 (36.7 for the Mets) and 58.1 (52.9) for the Mets. If you guaranteed me that my first round pick would produce 35+ fWAR for me but would flame out on drugs after… I’d jump at it. (I’d try to help the guy knowing it…) That’s my point: even with seemingly uncontrollable addictions you can be a good or even great MLB player. (Miggy allegedly told cops he was going to kill himself in a drunken stupor… seems to have a problem, but the guy can rake).

                      “I can accept Ted Nelson’s position that an alcohol addiction that is in the process of being treated should not by itself constitute “bad makeup.” I would also suggest, though, that an alcohol addiction is a factor that one must take into account when considering a player as a whole package.”

                      Agree, and that’s the point I made. I never said his makeup is good… I said one should dig deeper than the surface to find out what his makeup is really like. Reportedly the Yankees did that.

                • Henry santangelo

                  You are incorrect Plank and you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. You are the one who has to prove their point. Makeup is about maturity and so one could argue that the drinking problem might be an issue but at such a young age a drinking problem is something that can be cured. Case in point would be Josh Hamilton. He had a very serious problem. Did he have good makeup. OF course he did, look where he is now. In his case it was a disease. May be the same for Heath. Give it a rest and at least admit for once in your life you might be wrong.

        • MattG

          I am saying the Yankees did not overlook his makeup, and I have read in many places they like his makeup. As we’ve never met him, its hard to use this as an example of ignoring makeup. I think this is an example possibly of naive judgment, but that is to be determined. Ignore his makeup? No, that’s not it.

  • Gonzo

    I am pulling for the kid. I hope he hits AA with ferocity next year.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    It is nice to know that we have such good young prospects in the low minors. As you say the road to the majors is quicker if you are a reliever. As such, I hope he makes his debut as soon as possible (in the next two years?). I would like more profiling on what we have in the farm if it is at all possible.

    • pat

      You should click the Prospect Profiles hyperlink at the bottom of the article.

      • Jose M. Vazquez..

        Thanks very much. I will do that.

    • thenamestsam

      I agree that more prospect profiling is also better. Mike does a fantastic job with these pieces, and getting more of the backstory on these players only makes me hug my prospects all the tighter.

  • Don Reid

    I watched Mark pitch at Longwood over a two year period. With his success already in pro ball, he appears to be the real deal! He is a good, decent human being as well. Go Mark!

    • http://riveravenueblues Alex Reid

      Yeah he is a good pitcher. Also, I am looking forward to see him in the pros!!

  • thenamestsam

    While we as fans always want to see the Yankees draft the crazy upside, above slot players and try to develop superstars, Mike is right that the Yankees have started to do a really nice job of picking up useful players in the mid-rounds. They may not be taking as many chances, but they’re developing lots of players, pitchers specifically, that look like contributors on the major league level.

    As of right now the Yankees could field a quite effective “all home-grown bullpen”. I’d wager that something like Mo, DRob, Joba, Kontos, Noesi, Mitchell, generic lefty would be an above-average big league pen. And while the star-level starting talent may still be a year away, they have tons of depth in major league ready starting pitching, something the Red Sox very effectively demonstrated the importance of this past year. Obviously not all of these guys were draft picks, but I’m guessing they’re probably employing a similar strategy for IFA as well, and I think it’s working quite well.

    • Ted Nelson

      Good points. The incessant whining about the Yankees not signing every bonus baby fans have read an article about drives me nuts.

      • AndrewYF

        Definitely. Even on RAB, the Yankees passing on guys like Kendal Volz and Anthony Ranaudo was deemed as something like ‘nonsensical’ or ‘inexcusable’.

        One of my main wishes for all baseball analytics is to stop giving out draft grades altogether. Obviously 5- and 10-year lookbacks are fine, but giving out grades on the day of the draft is very stupid. It’s dumb, and it usually always makes you look dumb.

        • Ted Nelson

          Agreed. I find a lot more value in the scouting reports of the players to get a little info on their strengths and weaknesses and general perception of their talent level than the arbitrary grades.

          Would like to see a lot of people eating their words about the past two Yankees’ drafts.

  • MSPoppa

    I predict that Montgomery will move through the minors quickly. His work ethic is unmatched among players his age, working out sometimes twice a day during off season. And he does indeed have excellent makeup. Comes from a great family, chooses his friends well and wisely, stays out of trouble and focused on his goals. Strong minded and determined. He will not only be a star on the field, but a gold mine for endorsements. Just look at that face! Great choice Yankees.