Last week the Royals decided to promote top left-handed pitching prospect Mike Montgomery after watching him obliterate A-Ball hitters for four starts.
In 24.2 innings of work, Montgomery allowed just 14 hits, and 4 walks while punching out an absurd 33 batters. Tonight, he'll make his debut at AA pitching for Arkansas. Should things go as well in AA - or anything close to as well - as they did in A ball, Montgomery will put himself in prime position for a rotation spot with the big club sometime during 2011.
All of that of course depends on how Montgomery performs.
At 6'5" 180lbs the lefty has the exact body scouts love, tall, and wide through the shoulders. His delivery is smooth and clean leaving little hint of impending injury. He works with a 92-94mph fastball that has good - not great - movement and should enable him to limit home runs.
While his primary off-speed offerings, a curve and change up had work to be done, it appears that he's done that work quickly. While Montgomery performed brilliantly last season, the improvement of those two pitches has taken him to another level.
At just 20 years old Montgomery has thrust himself into the debate for best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. It'll be interesting to see how he performs at AA, and just how fast he can rise.