Montgomery to 'trust process' in baseball, life

David Zalubowski/AP Photo
Colson Montgomery and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred after Montgomery was selected by the Chicago White Sox as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2021 MLB baseball draft on Sunday in Denver.


It’s been a whirlwind the last few weeks for Colson Montgomery.

The Southridge alumnus ended his high school baseball career with the Class 3A State Championship, talked to Harold Reynolds from MLB Network at the MLB Draft Combine, got picked by the Chicago White Sox with the 22nd pick in person on July 11 and he got to see the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game.

As he put it, this has all been a little kid’s dream for him. It sinks in a little more each day.

“I’ve gotten probably hundreds of texts from everybody — a lot of kids, parents, family, too,” Montgomery said. “It’s just been crazy. I’m just very happy to be in a community like this that just supports me no matter what, is just very proud of me.

“And I know that no matter what happens, that they’ll always be there for me — I’m just very happy that I have that in my life.”

While in Denver for the draft and the All-Star festivities, Montgomery got to chat with some current members of the team, who gave him some advice. White Sox Pitcher Lance Lynn told him to make the most of the time he has now, that everything will work itself out.

“The advice they gave me is pretty much just enjoy this time while you’re young with all this stuff and keep living day by day and don’t think too far in the future, because when you do that, then you don’t take the time to appreciate the time you have right now with everybody and just this journey,” Montgomery said.

It’s been all a matter of rises with Montgomery’s situation. The White Sox made the playoffs in 2020 — their first trip to the postseason since 2008, and currently lead the American League Central, with the talent the front office has assembled leading the way.

Montgomery also saw his draft stock rise this spring — going from a top 50 prospect in the draft to potentially being taken at No. 10 by the New York Mets to the White Sox making him their first-round draft pick.

“I knew I wanted to get drafted out of high school, so I was going to do whatever it took to make that happen,” Montgomery said. “I had a lot of guys come watch me, and each day, I had a goal of making them leave with something positive and make them leave with something that really stuck out that I did.”

It means a lot to Montgomery that the White Sox want him to be part of the process. He told The Herald that the team saw his athleticism that has led him to where he is now.

He intends to sign with the organization, which is coming up right around the corner. Montgomery will arrive in Chicago on Sunday, do his physicals the next day, sign his contract and be at Guaranteed Rate Field to throw out the first pitch before their game against the Minnesota Twins.

“It’s going to be crazy,” Montgomery said of throwing the first pitch. “I’m just going to hope to throw a strike and not be too nervous about it all. I’m just probably going to let myself go, enjoy the moment and hopefully not do anything embarrassing, I guess.”

Montgomery will be in Alabama for mini camp from July 22-29, and then it’s off to Rookie Ball in Arizona with the AZL White Sox.

Some mock drafts listed Montgomery as playing third base at the next level, but he’ll be sticking at shortstop in the White Sox farm system.

“I’m very happy that I don’t have to learn a different position because I’ve been playing short my whole life,” he said. “I think it’s just going to make the whole process move a lot quicker because I’m a very quick learner, with all my athleticism. I just need a lot of reps in games and all that stuff.”

Montgomery hailed the White Sox for the farm system that they have, and knows he can develop a lot in their organization. He’s looking to gain weight, and get stronger and faster while getting smarter with the game.

At 19, Montgomery knows things will be a big adjustment at first — living on his own and as an adult. But he knows he’ll be doing what he loves and what he wants to do for the rest of his life.

If and when things get tough for him in the minors, Montgomery will make sure to remind himself that baseball is a failing sport — where he’ll fail more than he’ll succeed. He knows he’ll have to go through the struggles to really be great.

“That’s really what I’m thinking a lot about is how I’m going to deal with all the failures and stuff like that, because it’s going to happen,” Montgomery said. “So, I’m just going to keep remembering why I’m doing everything and just kind of sit back and just let it all unfold — and trust the process.”

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