Arizona Fall League Update: Colson Montgomery comps continue

Glendale Desert Dogs, White Sox affiliate of the Arizona Fall League

As long as Corey Seager and the Texas Rangers remain alive in the postseason while Colson Montgomery is active in the Arizona Fall League, the comparisons are going to keep coming.

Montgomery continues to get press in the Arizona Fall League after another big week. His line is a little uncharacteristic, particularly the 17 strikeouts against just one walk over 55 plate appearances, but he’s driven in 14 runs over 12 games with an assortment of extra-base hits, so he’s putting himself in the center of the action.

An MiLB.com story leaned hard into the Seager comps, although that’s partially because Seager played for the Glendale Desert Dogs himself 10 years ago, …

Montgomery drilled an 111.8 mph triple down the right-field line Thursday night at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, plating three runs to open the scoring for Glendale in an eventual 10-9 win. Just moments earlier, if you looked quickly, it seemed like he had also swatted a game-tying solo home run in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Only, that wasn’t Montgomery, but rather Seager. The Chicago wunderkind has long drawn comparisons to the four-time All-Star for the similarity of their lightning-quick strokes at the dish.

“Just the fact that he’s a big shortstop too, you know, and I’m a big shortstop. So just watching the way he pre-sets in the infield and also how he swings and things like that. Especially being a big body, I mean, it’s not easy being 6-foot-4 and playing shortstop and also being able to swing. I just look at his game and just try and take little things from it.”

… while Mark Gonzales’ story about Montgomery in the Sun-Times makes a passing reference to the Seager comp beyond “tall shortstop,” and finds it slightly lacking:

One longtime talent evaluator thought it might be too extreme to compare Montgomery’s potential to Seager at this point, mentioning that Seager’s swing is more level.

But the more interesting part of Gonzales’ story involves the mixed review of Montgomery’s defense. Gonzales remarked upon a play Montgomery didn’t make, and “merely” could be carrying a lot of weight when he includes Chris Getz’s thoughts:

Montgomery’s frame has led some to believe he eventually will shift to third base. He let a grounder skip past him for a hit after third baseman Rowdey Jordan ranged to his left Monday against Peoria.

Getz believes Montgomery merely needs to get better reactions off the bat and take cleaner angles on grounders. He believes his size benefits him at the plate and on the field.

While we’re leaving it an open question, here’s where I’ll include Keith Law’s two-sentence recap of the limited look he got:

I only got one game each with Colson Montgomery and Jace Jung, and none with Royals outfielder Gavin Cross. Jung was the DH in the game I saw and didn’t play the other two times I saw his club, including a day off on Saturday’s showcase day. Montgomery also had Saturday off, so there was more than one manager with no feel for the situation. In the one game I saw, Montgomery struggled quite a bit at shortstop.

I still think the more conclusive answer about Montgomery’s defense future will arrive at some point next year, after what is hopefully a more normal and healthy offseason and spring training. While the strikeout-to-walk rate is slightly concerning, I can also spin it into a positive sign that he’s not afraid to generate action. When I saw him at the end of the year in Birmingham, he seemed like he was conserving his energy at the plate, but his last couple of weeks in the desert suggest he’s not compensating for a core injury.

Arizona Fall League Update

While Montgomery continued to draw all the headlines, his position-player cohorts also picked up their production over the last week.

Bryan Ramos in particular had some loud nights, including four hits on Friday …

… and another homer on Saturday:

Colson Montgomery: 14-for-52, 3 HR, 2 3B, 1 2B, 1 BB, 17 K, .269/.291/.538

Bryan Ramos: 13-for-49, 2 HR, 3 2B, 2 BB, 11 K, .265/.294/.429

Jacob Burke: 14-for-58, 2 HR, 3 2B, 7 BB, 19 K, 4/4 SB, .241/.353/.397

Jake Eder: 8.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 8 BB, 10 K

Josimar Cousin: 7 IP, 15 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 3 HR, 2 BB, 3 K

Jordan Leasure: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 8 K

Fraser Ellard: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 6 K

Adisyn Coffey: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 11 R, 11 ER, 1 HR, 8 BB, 5 K

Author

  • 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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soxygen

That’s a nice line from Jordan “Man of” Leasure.

Due to scouting reports and Curt Bloom’s optimism, I’m going to wait until next year to take a position on Eder. That said, allowing this many walks in a small fall sample is…not great.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Montgomery’s bat sure looks promising, I sure hope he can field, and stay healthy. The last thing they need is another defensively challenged SS who is injured a lot. When you start with poor defense at the most important position, it makes it really difficult to have a good defensive team, as we’ve seen. Tim has also missed about 1/3 of games since 2019, so they’ve had a backup SS a lot as well.

One good thing is that Montgomery is a left handed hitter. You know, like Harper and Schwarber. The Sox have not had one legit dangerous left handed hitter on their roster since Thome. What an “oversight”. The Sox front office has proved to be the dumbest collection of nitwits in MLB.

GrinnellSteve

Adam Dunn was dangerous for 2-1/2 years.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

True, watching him hit made fans a danger to themselves and others! Thanks for the brutal memory, I had somehow managed to suppress and forget about him. The sordid history of this team, sheesh…

GrinnellSteve

After a brutal 2011, he hit .214/.332/.449 with 95 homers and 246 walks in 2-2/3 seasons with the Sox. It was good for an OPS+ in those 3 seasons of 114, 105, and 121. He was an All-Star in 2012.It wasn’t MVP production, but he was a left-handed slugging presence in the lineup.

We would have killed to have that production in the lineup these past few years.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

He had a net -0.4 WAR over 4 seasons. It was 2.5 over his final 3, with 1.6 in 2012 being his only season over 1. He struck out 222 times in 2012, which was 1 shy of being a single season record.

If you google Dunn White Sox contract, you can find several articles that call his 4 year, 56M deal a disaster. It was. I find it quite funny that anybody can remember his Sox career with fondness. I think that would be impossible for most.

Last edited 7 months ago by LamarHoyt_oncrack
MattyV415

There’s a lot of ground between “remembering his career with fondness” and “it’s not quite as bad as people thought.”

Dunn’s time with the Sox was not as bad as people thought.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

LMAO. Dunn had a career WAR of 17.9 over 14 seasons. 13.8 of that was in his first 5. After 2005, his WAR was 4.1 over his final 9 years. I recall his 4 years here clearly. He sucked, most of that time. Every fan I knew thought the same. You could not miss it. Apart from his best year, an unspectacular 1.6 WAR in 2012 where he almost set a record in K’s, his first year he actually had a worse WAR than 2023 TA. With a WAR under 1 over his final two years, which is less than Moncada the past two. I mean if that isn’t bad, what is? Yes, he was absolutely as bad as people thought. For 3 of the 4 years that is basically inarguable.

Thome had a WAR of 12 in his 4 years here. That’s a ballplayer. Dunn was an over rated hack. I groaned when they signed him, and groan now recalling watching him play!

GrinnellSteve

From 2012 to 2014 Dunn was an above average hitter who did 3 things the Sox have lacked in recent years: He hit left-handed, and he hit homers and took walks. That’s all I was saying. He gave away value in other ways. He wasn’t Thome, but he wasn’t Mazara or Colas either.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Daniel Palka posted a .778 OPS and 0.6 WAR in 2018. That was better than Dunn for 3 out of his 4 years. There is a chasm of difference between “better than Mazara and Colas” and “dangerous”. Honestly, I thought/assumed you were joking with your original comment.

Suffice it to say the caliber left handed hitter the Sox have been missing the past several years is someone like Harper, or at least someone a lot better than Palka or bleeping Dunn.

Willardmarshall

Against my best interests I find myself being sucked into the rebuild vortex….

As Cirensica

That line by Josimar Cousins is crazy. He was able to pitch 7 innings while allowing 15 hits and 2 walks for 10 runs? That is a lot of baserunners. I assume there were more than one double plays and a lot of one pitch contact. Otherwise you’d think he threw 150 pitches to get into the 7th.

GrinnellSteve

I believe that’s over multiple bleak outings.

As Cirensica

Oh!

JimMargalusBiggestFan

Perhaps I’m oversimplifying, but I just want Montgomery to be a good fielder SOMEWHERE. If he’s good at 3B, great. If he makes it at 2B, that’s fine too. I just want the White Sox to have position players who add wins. No more sub 2 WAR players.

Last edited 7 months ago by JimMargalusBiggestFan