As I said in the Gleyber Torres sleeper, calling Yankees sleepers is already a thin ice proposition. Who doesn’t know the Fawkees, dawg? They’re like covered by ESPN morning, noon and night, when ESPN is covering baseball, which is a bit more than badminton but way less than every other major sport. ESPN sees woman’s volleyball engagement on IG and is like, “Let’s spike our baseball coverage! High five me on the pun!” That’s someone in Bristol. Or maybe it’s because the Yankees had such an underperforming year in 21 after 20, but I’m finding some value this year in Yankees bats and arms, which brings us to Jordan Montgomery. I ain’t no JoMo, but I love what I’m seeing with this guy. Last year, he went 6-7/3.83/1.28/162 in 157 1/3 IP and had a 9.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. Wait a minute, I went full hot-and-heavy on that? Kinda bleh, Previous Sentence Grey, kinda bleh. I hear ya, Current Sentence Grey, but you’re gonna wanna pay attention, because this guy is so close to tipping off into top 10 starter range. Like a horny set of conjoined male twins, I feel it in my bones! So, what can we expect from Jordan Montgomery for 2022 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Psyche! Before we get into the Jordan Montgomery sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve finished my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings and they’re all available on our Patreon. Oh, and Happy New Year! Anyway II, the Jordan Montgomery sleeper:
Jordan Montgomery appears to be a pitch sequencing away from figuring out how to become an ace. Now, I explain. Does he have the best changeup in baseball for a starter? Yes. At worst, I’m willing to accept him and and Lucas Giolito are 1A and 1B. His changeup produced a 39.2 Whiff%. I will now cackle for 45 minutes until dragged away by healthcare professionals. That’s nutty, bros and five sisters. Giolito’s was 35.4%. Jordan Montgomery is almost 4% better on whiffs with his change. C’mon. Like that’s unfair. Here’s a few sing-songy-bye-byes:
Jordan Montgomery, 3 More Ks.
9Ks thru 4. ? pic.twitter.com/V5vSQSrgwl
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 16, 2021
One of those is an 81 MPH curve, which brings us to my 2nd point. His curveball is as good as his change and maybe better! What even. That seems unfair, right? The curve’s chase rate was 41.2%; its Zone% was 40.5% and his SwStr% was 20.7%. That’s absurd. MLB averages on those three respectively for all pitches was 31.3%, 42.1% and 11.2% (HA!). So, essentially this means Jordan Montgomery is throwing the curve kinda nowhere near the zone and hitters are swinging like lunatics. Framber Valdez has the highest Whiff% in the majors on curves; Jordan Montgomery is number two. If you have a pitch that produces those results, you throw it 30% of the time, climb a mountain in Asia and have some wise old man tell you, “Be an ace.” If you have two of those pitches, throw them each 30% of the time and do a Ric Flair Whoooooooo to the podium for a Cy Young. I guess you need to throw the 93 MPH 4-seamer some percentage of the time just to setup the rest of the naughty bits, but be naughty, my young man, be naughty.
As I said above about pitch sequencing, if JoMo can no mo’ throw his fastball when it’s going to bite him in the no-no region, and just eat up hitters with his two great pitches, then he’s going to be wrestling hardware from his teammate, Gerrit Cole. You get filth like this from a starter on one pitch. On two pitches? I’m begging you to point out how he’s not an ace. I’m being rhetorical. I know why he’s getting hit. Bad timing with the fastball. If hitters can sit fastball on him, they will hit him. Or if he can locate his fastball better, which brings me to his command: it was under-2 BB/9 his rookie year! Jumped up last year, but this is not a 4+ BB/9 guy. He’s gonna sit around 2.2 BB/9, which, again, tells me he just needs to stop being obvious about when he’s throwing his fastball and he will excel. Forget excel, use Apple Numbers, this is not a paid advertisement. Nah, seriously, forget excel, if I can get odds on Jordan Montgomery winning the Cy Young this year, I’d drop a ducket or two. He is so close to stratosphere. Can you tell I’m writing this in Vegas? It’s obvious, isn’t it? He throws strikes, misses bats, and induces weaker contact. Give me your tired, your weak, and your JoMo shares. For 2022, I’ll give Jordan Montgomery projections of 13-10/3.67/1.18/184 in 179 IP with a chance for much more.