If Colson Montgomery ever makes it to Bart Kaufman Field, the Hoosiers will have one heck of a prospect on their hands. Thing is, the likelihood of that arrival ever happening feels pretty low.
That’s because the Chicago White Sox selected the Southridge High School star shortstop with the No. 22 overall pick in Sunday’s first round of the Major League Baseball Draft. MLB.com ranked the 6-foot-4, 190-pound infielder as the No. 25 overall prospect in this year’s draft pool, while The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked him as the No. 56 overall talent.
Will he sign? Probably! I mean, one would think. If there’s a measure of consolation for IU baseball supporters, it’s that the Southsiders continue to value Hoosiers. The White Sox are extremely familiar with IU’s baseball program, having drafted eight players out of Bloomington between 2009 and 2019. That list includes Josh Phegley, Ethan Wilson, Michael Earley, Micah Johnson, Craig Dedelow, Jonathan Stiever, Logan Sowers and Pauly Milto. Obviously, unless he dons an IU uniform, Montgomery won’t join that rundown of Indiana University ballplayers. But for White Sox fans, at least, he could be another familiar name to pull for.
On the 20-80 scouting scale, MLB.com rates Montgomery’s power (55) and arm (55) as his best tools. Here’s the outlet’s partial scouting report on the 19-year-old Southern Indiana native.
Montgomery has a good left-handed swing that should allow him to hit for average and power. He’s most effective when he uses the entire field rather than trying to pull pitches out of the park, and his approach got more consistent throughout the summer. His frame resembles Corey Seager’s at the same stage of their careers and he has the strength and bat speed to develop similar pop.
Though he plays shortstop in high school, Montgomery has fringy speed and figures to outgrow the position once he fills out his 6-foot-4 frame. He moves well for his size and should become at least an average defender with a solid arm at the hot corner. If he attends college at Indiana, he’ll be eligible for the 2023 Draft.
And here’s Law’s view:
Montgomery is a big kid, 6-4 and 200-odd pounds already, likely to move to third base but with a plus arm that should let him profile there. I like his left-handed swing and he’s supposed to have a good approach, but scouts have questioned how he’ll hit against better pitching, and he already turned 19 in February.
The slot value of the No. 22 overall pick is $3,027,000. The signing deadline is Aug. 1.
Every first-round pick in the past two MLB Drafts has elected to sign, so -again- we’re not holding our breath here. Either way, it’s a good sign for IU’s baseball program that head coach Jeff Mercer is keeping top in-state talent interested in playing Big Ten baseball in Bloomington. Good luck to Montgomery with whichever path he chooses.
The draft continues Monday afternoon with round Nos. 2-10, followed by round Nos. 11-20 on Tuesday afternoon.