This is a new series breaking down our Yankee prospects in a top 20 list brought to us by MLB.com. BYB will give you our thoughts on these guys in our new series! Let’s get started with #20, Jordan Montgomery and #19, Drew Finley…
As the off-season really starts heating up, the big trade and free agent news and rumors will be the biggest headlines around baseball and Yankeeland. But with everything that Brian Cashman has done with the farm system, the top prospects here at BYB will be given their fair share of coverage.
#20 is LHP Jordan Montgomery. He was phenomenal at Double-A Trenton before being promoted to Triple-A Scranton where he was arguably even better. In 19 starts in Trenton Montgomery compiled a 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA to go along with a .239 BAA. After being promoted, the former South Carolina Gamecock finished the season 5-1 over six starts and a very impressive 0.91 ERA with the Rail Riders.
(Source: USA Today)
Montgomery, who was a big game college pitcher before being drafted in the fourth round in 2014, showed signs of brilliance in 2016 with his fastball being clocked as high as 94 which makes his fading change up, his best pitch, even better. Along with those two pitches, he works in a curve ball and cutter as well.
As spring training approaches, look for Montgomery to be given a shot to earn a back of the rotation spot for the Bombers. I firmly believe that the change up is the best pitch in baseball and many scouts have applauded the way he can spot his, as well as his other pitchers, as it dives away from right handed batters. The Yankees could sign a pitcher or two but with a talent pool that includes youngsters like Montgomery, the Yankees could very go into Opening Day with the southpaw a member of the starting rotation.
#19 is Drew Finley…
One spot ahead of Montgomery is RHP Drew Finley. A third round pick out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego in 2015, Finley gave up his commitment to USC to sign with the Yankees. He, along with James Kaprielian, were seen as two of the most polished pitchers in the 2015 draft. That says a lot about Finley, as he was drafted out of high school.
Scouts love Finley’s curve ball and say he is willing to throw it in any count. Not too many young pitchers have that confidence and as a 20 year-old, it says a lot. He throws a low 90s fastball with a lot of movement to compliment the curve ball.
(Photo credit: Robert M. Pimpsner, Pinstriped Prospects)
Finley spent the summer of 2016 with the Staten Island Yankees where he made six starts where he finished 0-3 with a 4.28 ERA. But he did hold opposing batters to a .212 average and had an impressive 1.10 WHIP on the season.
Finley is still young and has some time ahead of him and won’t be in the big league talk for likely two to three years, but a polished pitcher at a young age who is still learning is a huge asset in a strong system. Being the number 19 overall prospect in arguably the best farm system in baseball shows the kind of high hopes scouts and the Yankees have for him.
Keep in mind, as we saw this summer, prospect rankings change often when players are traded or acquired and as their stock grows or shrinks. We here at BYB will keep you informed of any changes as the off season continues.
Next up on the prospect watch will be #18 Ian Clarkin (above) and #17 Luis Torrens, both very intriguing young players that we should all be excited about.
BYB ‘Series’ Writer Follow me on Twitter:@DManLucia