Montgomery (No. 9) one of two White Sox Top 50 prospects

January 27th, 2024

CHICAGO -- There’s a very strong chance Colson Montgomery won’t break camp with the White Sox at the end of 2024 Spring Training.

In fact, White Sox general manager Chris Getz already has stated it’s a near certainty that the team’s top prospect and shortstop of the future will open the year in the Minor Leagues. But it shouldn’t be too long before the left-handed-hitting Montgomery, now the No. 9 prospect in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list revealed Friday night on MLB Network, makes his arrival.

“There’s really no telling,” said White Sox manager Pedro Grifol of Mongtomery’s Major League preparedness. “He’s extremely talented. He shows something that’s very uncharacteristic for young hitters: He shows patience, hit ability, occasional power.

“These guys that have that kind of talent, they’ll let you know when they’re ready. He’s coming to Spring Training, and he’s got to do his thing. He’s got to learn the Major League game, see Major League pitching, and we’ll continue to evaluate this thing.”

Montgomery was very limited during 2023 Spring Training due to an oblique injury. The team’s top pick in the '21 Draft didn’t begin his '23 season until June 19 because of back issues, but he followed successful stints with High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham by adding on games during the Arizona Fall League. Montgomery earned Most Valuable Player honors in the Fall Stars Game after launching a long home run at Sloan Park.

Learning the mental side of dealing with high-level competition and the daily grind of a long season is as important for Montgomery as developing his elite talent.

“It’s going to be a big challenge and task,” Montgomery told during AFL action. “I’m ready for it. I want to test my limits and things like that. People don’t understand the mental side of all this stuff. They see all the God-given abilities, but those dudes are mentally tough, too.

“There are days we don’t want to do this even though you get paid whatever. You don’t want to, but you have to put something in your head to play for. Once you do that and you find that, then you just build on that.”

Noah Schultz, who recently was ranked as the No. 4 left-handed pitching prospect by MLB Pipeline, moved up 11 spots to No. 50 overall. Schultz and Montgomery are the White Sox Top 100 prospects representatives, and Schultz should also be invited to big league camp.

In moving to No. 9 among the Top 100, Montgomery made an eight-spot jump that was third-greatest among the new Top 25. He’s the No. 2 shortstop behind Baltimore’s Jackson Holliday (No. 1 prospect overall), with both players looking to be on the Major League fast track, and Montgomery is not pushing aside an Opening Day possibility.

“As a competitor and as a baseball player, you want to push yourself,” Montgomery said. “Maybe it’s out of reach, but it’s never out of reach. I’m going to chase for it. It’s one of my dreams to play in the big leagues and things like that.

“If I can make the Opening Day roster, that would be awesome. I’d be willing to do whatever it takes for the team to win, but I’ve got a lot of confidence. I’m going to go in with a lot of confidence and do whatever it takes.”