'His opportunity will come': Montgomery impressing at Triple-A

May 21st, 2024

This story was excerpted from Scott Merkin’s White Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

CHICAGO -- When had a .217/.337/.386 slash line in April for Triple-A Charlotte, following a 2-for-12 (.167) showing in March, people wondered what factors contributed to the shortstop’s slow start.

Montgomery, the White Sox top prospect and No. 11 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, has a .260/.377/.520 slash line in May, with three home runs, two doubles, one triple, eight RBIs and seven runs scored in 14 games. So, now the question once again has become: When will Montgomery take his game to the White Sox? Such are the ebbs and flows for a top-rated young player.

Chris Getz understandably wouldn’t commit to a specific time frame for Montgomery’s callup when we talked this weekend in New York. But the White Sox general manager continues to like what he sees from the 22-year-old.

“You look at his ability to get on base. He’s hit for some power,” said Getz on Montgomery. “He’s playing really good defense right now. So, he’s built a nice foundation for the season. We just want him to stay at it. His opportunity will come at some point.”

Through 224 career Minor League games and 812 at-bats, the White Sox first-round pick in the 2021 Draft has drawn 146 walks against just 211 strikeouts and features a lofty .398 on-base percentage. Those numbers made his 38 strikeouts and 13 walks through March and April a little surprising, but in May, Montgomery has 12 strikeouts against 10 walks.

That brief statistical change at the plate could be as simple as Montgomery adjusting to his first look at Triple-A competition. Everyone who has been around Montgomery believes he has the unflappable demeanor to manage the failure that’s built into baseball.

“He’s got a very mature mindset, a very advanced mindset that from what I can tell is going to serve him very well in professional baseball,” Getz said. “He’s got a strong understanding of who he is as a player, what it takes to have success on a regular basis and bring consistency to whatever club he’s on.

“We anticipate him to continue to do that and eventually he’ll be able to show Major League Baseball what he’s capable of doing. Right now, he’s focused on helping the Charlotte Knights.”

Getz is looking for consistency in all facets of Montgomery’s game before the left-handed hitter starts his Major League time as one of the anticipated centerpieces of the White Sox rebuild.

“I can’t say there’s some a-ha moment that all of a sudden he’s done this, this and this and he’s ready for the next level,” Getz said. “It’s just staying on track from what he’s been doing when he signed his contract with the White Sox. His time will come.

“He’s getting a workload under his belt at Charlotte for the first time. He’s been really steady defensively. His at-bats have kind of aligned with what he’s done historically. He’s tapped into a little bit of power. It’s really just being as well rounded as possible.”

Double-A Birmingham
, the No. 2 White Sox prospect, and the No. 40 prospect overall, per MLB Pipeline, has been promoted from High-A Winston-Salem to Southern League North-leading Birmingham. The 20-year-old southpaw joins a dominant rotation featuring No. 9 prospect Jairo Iriarte, coming off a 13-strikeout effort against the Lookouts (team-best 56 strikeouts overall), No. 3 prospect Drew Thorpe (1.50 ERA), No. 17 prospect Ky Bush (2.09 ERA), No. 19 prospect Mason Adams (2.52 ERA) and No. 10 prospect Jake Eder (44 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings).

High-A Winston Salem
Third baseman leads the Dash with six home runs. , acquired from Atlanta as part of the five-player return for Aaron Bummer, tops the Dash pitching with 48 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings and a .153 average against.

Single-A Kannapolis
Ryan Galanie, the team’s 13th-round selection in the 2023 Draft, has an impressive slash line of .349/.441/.569 through 27 games and has driven in 25 runs. Rikuu Nishida, an 11th-round pick in the ’23 Draft, has 38 runs scored and 13 stolen bases.

Rookie-level Arizona Complex League White Sox
No. 14 prospect George Wolkow, the local outfield product from Downers Grove, Ill., taken in the seventh round of the 2023 Draft, has two home runs, three stolen bases and a 1.152 OPS in 41 at-bats.