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Mike Montgomery

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Michael Paul Montgomery

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[edit] Biographical Information

Mike Montgomery was a supplemental first-round draft pick in the 2008 amateur draft.

Montgomery was picked by the Kansas City Royals with the 36th pick of the 2008 draft; he was their second selection after Eric Hosmer. The pick was compensation for the loss of David Riske to free agency. Mike signed by scout Dan Ontiveros for a $988,000 bonus. In his pro debut, he had a 2-1, 1.69 record for the AZL Royals. Had he qualified, he would have been third in the Arizona League in ERA. Baseball America listed him as the league's #1 prospect, ahead of Jaff Decker, a fellow first-rounder.

In 2009, Mike pitched very well for both the Burlington Bees (2-3, 2.17, .206 opponent average) and Wilmington Blue Rocks (4-1, 2.25, .196 opponent average). Baseball America listed him as the #5 Midwest League prospect (behind Aaron Hicks, Dee Gordon, Josh Vitters and Brett Lawrie) and #7 in the Carolina League (just ahead of a teammate with the same first name and last initial, Mike Moustakas). Baseball America also rated the lefty as the top Royals prospect entering 2010, ahead of top-five selections Moustakas and Hosmer most notably.

Montgomery battled injury in 2010, pitching for the AZL Royals (0-1, 1.04), Wilmington (2-0, 1.09) and Northwest Arkansas Naturals (5-4, 3.47). Baseball America named him as the #3 prospect in the Texas League behind teammates Moustakas and Hosmer, and as the 19th-best prospect in all of baseball. He was then put on the USA's roster for the 2010 Pan American Games Qualification Tournament. He went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 10 innings. He tied Jesus Yepez for 4th in the tourney in whiffs, 3 behind Yulieski Gonzalez, and tied Todd Redmond, Nick Hill and Julio Rodriguez for the tournament's best record. He was named to the All-Star team as the top left-hander, joining Cuban righty Norge Vera as the pitchers. The other US All-Stars were fellow KC farmhands Hosmer and Moustakas as well as a third Mike, Mike Trout.

In 2011, Mike struggled at 5-11, 5.32 for the Omaha Royals. He tied for fourth in the 2011 PCL in losses, was third in wild pitches (14, behind Matt Palmer and Sam Deduno) and tied Chris Seddon for 5th with 69 walks. Baseball America still listed him as the 7th-best PCL prospect (between Dee Gordon and Brett Jackson) and ahead of any other pitcher. They also put him as the #23 prospect in baseball entering 2012 (one slot ahead of Bubba Starling as the top Royals prospect). 2012 bought more bad returns, though: a 3-6 record, with an ERA of 5.69 for Omaha and 2-6, 6.67 for Northwest Arkansas. He led Royals minor leaguers with 24 homers allowed and only Noel Arguelles lost more games.

On December 9, 2012, the Royals dealt him along with prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi and minor leaguer Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis. He spent two seasons in the Rays' organization, going 7-9, 4.83 mainly with the AAA Durham Bulls in 2013, and 10-5, 4.29 in a full season with Durham in 2014. He was used almost exclusively as a starter those two years. On March 31, 2015, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners in return for major league pitcher Erasmo Ramirez. He was assigned to the Tacoma Rainiers to start the year and had a 4-3 record with a 3.54 ERA over 53 innings after 9 starts when he was called up to make his big league debut on June 3rd, taking the place of an injured James Paxton. Facing the New York Yankees, he gave up only one run on 4 hits in 6 innings, but ended up with a no-decision as the Yankees eventually won the game, 5-3, in 11 innings. He was only the second pitcher in Mariners history to pitch at least 6 innings while giving up one run or fewer in his debut, after Blake Beavan had given up one run in 7 innings in his 2011 debut. His first major league decision was a loss on June 7th, even though he pitched well again; he gave up 2 runs in 7 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays but was charged with a 3-1 loss. He finally got some help from his hitters on June 13th when he recorded his first win over the Houston Astros, 6-3, thanks to a pair of homers by Logan Morrison. On June 23rd, he victimized one of his former teams, the Kansas City Royals, with a four-hit shutout in a 7-0 win, retiring 17 straight batters at one point.

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