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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 1: Colson Montgomery

A first full pro season, sitting atop your organization’s prospect list? Not bad.

Interestingly, Colson Montgomery did not flash the power with which he came advertised in 2021. Expect that to change in 2022.

Colson Montgomery
205 pounds
Age: 20
SSS rank among all shortstops in the system: 1

As a three-sport standout from Huntington, Ind. (a community of 18,000 a bit southwest of Fort Wayne), Colson Montgomery was the star quarterback who drew attention from Indiana University, and also was established as a hoops star as well.

However, as good as he was in those other sports, his better long-term prospects lay on the diamond. Easily a first-round talent, he fell to the 23rd pick due to concerns about his being a bit old for a prep player. However, athletic shortstops of his size don’t grow on trees, so when he was available for the Sox, it was a no-brainer selection for Sox scouting director Mike Shirley to opt for the Hoosiers recruit.

After signing for the slot value of $3.027 million, Montgomery held his own despite playing against competition nearly a year older. In 26 games for the ACL White Sox spanning 111 plate appearances, he slashed .287/.396/.362 with seven doubles, 13 walks (11.7%), 22 strikeouts (19.8%) and wRC+ of 112. While hitting righties fairly well at a .284/.376/.378 clip, he fared even better against southpaws (albeit without power) by slashing .300/.462/.300. Coming on strong in September, Montgomery slashed .382/.447/.441. While he did commit five errors, the majority occurred in the first couple weeks of his debut.

When it comes to strengths, Montgomery’s power instantly stands out. He is able to create great leverage and loft at the plate to generate plenty of pop. As he grows more and gets stronger, the potential for power — which is his top trait — will only increase. He has also built consistency at the plate by pushing baseballs all throughout the park rather than focusing primarily on pulling balls to right field. This will lead to more hits and fewer strikeouts, so it’s certainly something that scouts have been pleased by.

Montgomery, who played shortstop in high school, is also a solid fielder. At 6´4´´, he has plenty of weight and strength to gain, which could necessitate a move to third base. Still, considering how well he played shortstop, moving to the hot corner does not pose an immediate concern. While not flashy or loud in the field, Montgomery has solid glove work and a very accurate arm to first. Ranked first among Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline, his highest grades are power and arm (55), followed by hitting and fielding (50). His only only weakness is running (45), but he does have enough lateral movement to play shortstop. As for his power, he didn’t really show much this year, but that’s often the last asset for young hitters to develop during in-game action.

Having blazing speed isn’t an absolute necessity for playing shortstop. Cal Ripken, Jr. was also a big shortstop who couldn’t run, but was also considered a solid defensive contributor through most of his career. Of course, most comparisons are unfair to young athletes. With that said, MLB Pipeline does compare Montgomery to Corey Seager by stating that his “frame resembles Corey Seager’s at the same stage of their careers and he has the strength and bat speed to develop similar pop.” Seager, who is now 6´4´´ and 215 pounds, was able to stick at shortstop long-term, which is interesting because that seems quite unlikely for Montgomery. New Texas Ranger Seager is a two-time All-Star, three-time National League champion, World Series champion, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP, former Rookie of the Year, three-time MVP candidate, and two-time Silver Slugger. You could do worse with a comp, eh?

The Sox have no reason to rush Montgomery through 2022. Expect him to play much of next season in Kannapolis, but perhaps earn himself a promotion to Winston-Salem by year’s end.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

1. Colson Montgomery, SS
2. Norge Vera, RHSP
3. Yoelqui Céspedes, CF
4. Oscar Colás, RF
5. Jake Burger, 3B
6. José Rodríguez, SS
7. Wes Kath, 3B
8. Erick Hernández, LF
9. Jared Kelley, RHSP
10. Bryan Ramos, 3B
11. Matthew Thompson, RHSP
12. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
13. Micker Adolfo, RF
14. Yolbert Sánchez, 2B
15. Romy González, SS
16. Sean Burke, RHSP
17. Jimmy Lambert, RHSP
18. Caleb Freeman, RHRP
19. Luis Mieses, RF
20. Kade McClure, RHSP
21. Tanner McDougal, RHSP
22. Jason Bilous, RHSP
23. Wilfred Veras, 1B
24. Lenyn Sosa, SS
25. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
26. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
27. Misael González, RF
28. Terrell Tatum, CF
29. Carlos Pérez, C
30. Bennett Sousa, LHRP
31. Luis Basabe, RF
32. McKinley Moore, RHRP
33. Emilio Vargas, RHSP
34. Blake Rutherford, LF
35. Anderson Severino, LHRP
36. DJ Gladney, 3B
37. Luke Shilling, RHRP
38. Chase Krogman, LF
39. Cristian Mena, RHSP
40. Benyamín Bailey, LF
41. Tyler Johnson, RHRP
42. Andrew Perez, LHRP
43. Tyler Neslony, LF
44. Theo Denlinger, RHRP
45. Hunter Schryver, LHRP
46. Jefferson Mendoza, C
47. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
48. Gil Luna Jr. LHRP
49. John Parke, LHSP
50. Victor Quezada, 3B
51. Haylen Green, LHRP
52. Sammy Peralta, LHRP
53. Yoelvin Polanco, RHRP
54. Taylor Broadway, RHRP
55. Noah Owen, RHRP
56. Luis Curbelo, 3B
57. Bryce Bush, RF
58. James Beard, CF
59. Xavier Fernández, C
60. Wilber Sánchez, SS
61. Kohl Simas, RHRP
62. Johan Dominguez, RHSP
63. Jagger Rusconi, 2B
64. Ronaldo Guzman, LHSP
65. Laz Rivera, 3B
66. Adam Hackenberg, C
67. Will Kincanon, RHRP
68. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
69. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
70. Randel Mondesi, RF
71. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
72. Zack Muckenhirn, LHRP
73. Cameron Butler, CF
74. Godwin Bennett, RF
75. Logan Glass, CF
76. Dario Borrero, 1B
77. Craig Dedelow, RF
78. Carlos Hinestroza, RHRP
79. Gunnar Troutwine, C
80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP