White Sox select Colson Montgomery in first round of 2021 MLB Draft

Whether you wanted the White Sox to select Colson Montgomery, or whether you wanted the team to pursue another course, nobody can say they’re surprised by the outcome.

The shortstop out of Southridge High School in Huntingburg, Ind., the consensus mock draft selection for weeks, made it all the way to 22nd pick. Just about every evaluator said that the White Sox would take Montgomery if he lasted that long, and sure enough, that’s what happened.

PERTINENT: MLB Draft Watch: A look at Colson Montgomery

The White Sox hadn’t selected a high school player in the first round since 2012, when Courtney Hawkins backflipped his way into America’s hearts on draft night, and the less said about everything that happened afterward the better. Hopefully the White Sox have a slower rollout for Montgomery, rather than throwing him into the deep end with an A-ball assignment with no life preservers offered.

What’s his game?

Montgomery is a 6-foot-4-inch, 190-pound, lefty-hitting shortstop. He had the athleticism to play football and basketball, so he’s late to focusing solely on baseball. That his stock was so high despite his divided attention could offset concerns about his age. He turned 19 in February, and as a guy like Blake Rutherford can attest, it does shorten the amount of time a player has to naturally come into his own before 40-man roster concerns add their own pressure. That suppresses some of the enthusiasm when looking at the rankings.

He has a projectable build, so much so that the leading assumption is that Montgomery will have to move to third, which he has the talent to handle with aplomb. His current level of athleticism will give him every shot to prove he can stick, and the White Sox have been aggressive with up-the-middle assignments for players who had such a label, at least in the low minors.

He generates power with his long levers, but outlets are divided about how his hit tool will develop as he tries to tap into it against advanced competition.

Where does he rank?

What’s does he look like?

Any good anagrams?

None of note, but I did appreciate his write-up in Baseball Prospectus’ Name Draft:

*Extremely Daniel Craig’s character in Knives Out voice*

Ah-well now, what a ah-pahcuuuliar set of circumstances whee have ah-here-ah. Ah-here-ah whee find the team representing this very Nation’s capital. Bereft of young talent, but awash with options. In aye-uh, draft positively teeming with potential.  And yet ah-whooo do they select? Awhyy one Col-son Montgomery. Not ah-Jackson Jobe. Not ah-Hunter Goodman. Not even uh-Thatchuh Hurd. Just Col-son Montgomery. I find that to be an oddity…

THE FIRST 21 PICKS

  1. Pirates: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
  2. Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
  3. Tigers: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (OK)
  4. Red Sox: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (Calif.)
  5. Orioles: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston (Texas)
  6. Diamondbacks: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit College Prep (Texas)
  7. Royals: Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic HS (Conn.)
  8. Rockies: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (Pa.)
  9. Angels: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio) University
  10. Mets: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
  11. Nationals: Brady House, SS, Winder Barrow HS (Ga.)
  12. Mariners: Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (Ga.)
  13. Phillies: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.)
  14. Giants: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State
  15. Brewers: Sal Frelick, SS, Boston College
  16. Marlins: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS (N.C.)
  17. Reds: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
  18. Cardinals: Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
  19. Blue Jays: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss
  20. Yankees: Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois
  21. Cubs: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Infield Grass

Trying to fully understand since this seemed to be a forgone conclusion for so long and he seems to have been drafted well ahead of most of the rankings is that the case because the Sox are his ideal team based on geography so the Sox have leverage where they can feel completely confident he won’t decide to go to college and they can get him to sign for less than slot? Or was this a case of just getting fixated on the local kid because I have also read things about the scouting director favoring Indiana players?

jorgefabregas

As you can see the public rankings vary quite a bit. They say that the team rankings vary even more. There were rumors that the Mets were on him at 10 (had Rocker fall into their lap) and the Cubs were on him at 21. Doesn’t seem like the White Sox were on an island.

Josh Nelson

I’m a bit surprised that the Chicago Cubs didn’t take Colson Montgomery. I’ve asked Cubs prospect writers and they commented the org felt comfortable with their current depth at the position. There is a pretty big need for the Cubs for starting pitching and hence Jordan Wicks.

While it was convenient that Montgomery played in Indiana, I’ll also add that I don’t think the White Sox simply took him for geographical reasons. Montgomery has great skills that the White Sox, with patience, can further develop over the next 3 to 4 years. Everyone I asked about the MLB Draft Combine said Montgomery was one of the most impressive prospects there.

asinwreck

Yep. And the “has eyes on a local kid” angle has also changed in the past few years, as the Fegan-Greenberg piece on the pick indicates:

Southridge might be a small school, but it made the state finals every year of Montgomery’s career (minus his junior season, which was lost to COVID-19) and it has the technology you’ll find everywhere else.

“We use Rapsodo and Blast and all that good stuff,” Mattingly said. “We monitor their progress to see if our training methods are working.”

That’s how they know Montgomery was hitting baseballs with 115-118 mph exit velocity as a senior.

That’s a nice exit velocity for a guy coming into pro ball.

metasox

Interesting to see how scouting / drafting are changing. I expect it will continue to become more of a science, less of an art, and these high picks will be less lottery tickets than in the past

dansomeone

Of late, the Sox don’t appear to be biased towards local/regional players. They passed on Alek Thomas in 2018 and Ed Howard in 2020.

Red_Hair_White_Sox

Not to beat a dead meme, but KLaw being the lowest on him is so apropos

digger0910

FKL

burning-phoneix

Have fangraphs changed up his ranking? The link there has him as 36th overall in the draft rankings, not 49?

Wish they went for Joe Mack tho.

jorgefabregas

They’ve referred multiple times to a new rankings list, but never published it. Kevin Goldstein said in their first round summary that Montgomery was picked in a spot appropriate for his talent.