RHP Mark Montgomery has moved quickly through the Yankees' farm system dominating at every level and continues that success in the AFL.
Montgomery was an off the radar prospect out of Longwood University who is the diamond in the rough the Yankees' scouting department loves.
The 22 year old relief pitcher has conquered every level so far in the minors, reaching Double-A Trenton by the end of the 2012 season. Montgomery is ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the Yankees top 20.
Mark split time at rookie level Staten Island and Class A Charleston in his first pro season in 2011. His numbers were more than impressive in 28 1/3 innings of work sporting a 1.91 ERA and 51 strikeouts.
This year he split time between Class A Advanced Tampa and Double-A Trenton Thunder increasing his innings to 64 1/3 with 99 strikeouts and an even lover ERA at 1.54.
"I came into the pros with the same mentality as the rest of my career, to compete and try to win my job," Montgomery said to MLB.com. "Thankfully I've been successful and have been able to move up quickly."Montgomery has a low to mid-90's fastball and his out pitch is a nasty slider. He is currently tinkering around with the change-up to add a third pitch. The most impressive stat with Mark is he has yielded only one home run in his pro career thus far, when most relievers tend to give up the long ball Montgomery has bucked that trend.
General manager Brian Cashman had said in an interview after the Yankees concluded this year's season that everyone will eventually know who Mark Montgomery is sooner rather than later.
Montgomery's AFL numbers so far stands at 10 /3 innings with 19 strikeouts and opposing batters just hitting .143 against him.
These numbers will help Montgomery be on the fast track to the Bronx in the near future.
Can he be the heir apparent to the great Mariano Rivera? Only time will tell on that, but so far he has all the tools to become an outstanding closer in the future if everything falls into place.
Montgomery will be seen in spring training and depending on his performance is where he will start in 2013 whether back in Trenton, Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees or with the parent club in the Bronx.
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