MLB Draft Profile: Braden Montgomery

MLB Draft Profile: Braden Montgomery

by June 16, 2021 0 comments

The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Braden Montgomery, a two-way prep prospect with impressive upside as both a pitcher and outfielder.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Braden Montgomery, Outfielder, Madison Central (Miss.)

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 200 lbs.
Age: 18
Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
2021 hitting: 35G, .479/.590/.875, 46 H, 50 RBI, 7 HR, 31 BB, 18 K
2021 pitching: 15G, 1GS, 9-0, 0.74 ERA, 56.2 IP, 17 H, 6 ER, 27 BB, 116 K, .108 OBA

Scouting Grades

Hit: 55
Power: 45
Run: 50
Field: 50
Throw: 60

Fastball: 55
Curveball: 55
Changeup: 50
Control: 50

As a hitter, Montgomery has a smooth approach and feel at the plate, though he’s not a major factor when it comes to power in speed. He’s a solid fielder, though, and projects as an impactful corner outfielder with a great arm if he doesn’t commit to pitching. With that said, if he does turn his attention to pitching, he has developed a three-pitch mix with plenty of potential. If his heart is set on a career on the mound, honoring his commitment to Stanford is not out of the question.

Strengths

Hitting is one of Montgomery’s top tools. He can hit from both sides of the plate but truly flourishes on the right side. An advanced hitter, he makes good contact and has shown great vision, posting 31 walks and just 18 strikeouts at the high school level this year. Montgomery possesses good balance and control at the plate and has also demonstrated an ability to hit to all parts of the field.

As an outfielder, Montgomery has a really good arm, making him a perfect fit for center or right field. He has solid glovework and should stick in the outfield long-term if he decides not to solely focus on pitching.

Speaking of pitching, on the mound, Montgomery throws a fastball, curveball, and changeup. His heater maxes out at 96 mph while consistently sitting around 93 mph. Further, he has worked on a curveball that has good break; this is a very solid pitch that could complement this fastball nicely with a little more development. Montgomery is also working on a changeup, though he has yet to fully develop this pitch, either.

Weaknesses

Montgomery is not a tremendous power hitter and likely won’t ever be comparable to two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who consistently launches home runs while also dazzling on the mound. His good approach at the plate and solid swing will generate enough power, but he’ll never be above-average when it comes to pop.

Speed is another area worth mentioning here. Montgomery is not slow by any means, and he can move well. However, he is just an average runner who lacks speed and range. As a result, he likely won’t be a major base-stealer. More importantly, though, this lack of speed could take him out of center field permanently. Switching to a corner outfield role seems very likely, with right field making sense due to his arm strength.

Finally, Montgomery simply needs more development with his pitching. His fastball looks good, but his curveball and changeup both need more work. Without a No. 2 pitch that is near full development, it’s hard to envision Montgomery being drafted as a pitcher. However, since he has shown potential on the mound, instead of quitting pitching altogether, it might be wise for him to attend Stanford so he can focus even more on his pitching and truly fulfill his potential as a two-way prospect.

Pro Comparison: Aaron Hicks

For the purpose of this comparison, let’s remove the pitching factor and focus solely on Montgomery the outfielder. Comparing him to Hicks makes plenty of sense. Hicks is an average hitter whose career-best slash line is just .266/.372/.475. He’s restricted when it comes to speed and power, though he hits homers from time to time and logged three double-digit stolen base seasons early in his MLB career.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that Hicks, who also has a decent arm, has spent the majority of his career in center field despite not being a speed demon. The former Minnesota Twin and current New York Yankee has spent 573 games in center, 121 in right, and 57 in left. With the exception of five games as a designated hitter, Hicks hasn’t appeared in a corner outfield role since 2017.

Draft Projection: Early Second-Round Pick

There has been some hype for Montgomery to be drafted in the first round, but that seems unlikely at this point. The early portion of the second round seems more likely, though I wouldn’t entirely rule out Competitive Balance Round A. Much of his stock rides on signability, as there is some belief that Montgomery will at least consider attending Stanford.


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Main Image Credit: Baseball Prospect Journal

Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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