Montgomery waiting to hear name called

Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Southridge senior Colson Montgomery shows excitement after he scored a run in the bottom of the first in the Raiders’ semi-state championship game against Brebeuf Jesuit this past season. In that same game, Montgomery also provided the Raiders with a crucial insurance run with a solo home run and brought the game to its final score, 4-2.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

Southridge’s Colson Montgomery is bound to soon have his name called at the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in Denver — and he’ll be there in person to see it. Montgomery will depart for the Mile High City on Saturday.

“I got invited last week,” Montgomery said on July 4.

Being drafted by an MLB team will soon be a reality for Montgomery, and also for his teammates who played with him in high school that they grew up and played with somebody of that caliber.

“It’s honestly crazy to think about,” said Conner Oxley, a 2020 Southridge graduate. “We played together since we were little kids. He’s always had a step above everybody, but he’s just going to keep growing, and he’s going to big someday.”

“It’s cool,” said Chase Taylor, a 2021 graduate. “Honestly, you wish the best for him just like everybody else. He’s a great baseball player, works hard — good leader on the team. There’s all good things to say. He deserves it.”

This is especially surreal for Tucker Schank, who mentored Montgomery in his younger days. The 2019 Southridge graduate sees all sorts of talent as a baseball player for Indiana University, and he knows that Montgomery has something.

He was used to seeing that talent by being around him every day in high school, but he could especially see that Montgomery is ready for the next level after he graduated.

“I always knew he was a special talent, but I tried to look past that and I tried to be the best leader as I could,” Schank said. “Because I knew he was a really good kid and I knew he’d be getting a lot of attention for all the talent he had — always going to be a lot of hype around his name, and I knew that could be overwhelming for a young guy like him.”

The draft will begin on Sunday and run through Tuesday in Denver, coinciding with the time of the MLB All-Star Game. The state champion for the Raiders was named a Top 100 MLB Draft prospect in 2020, but has risen in mock drafts this spring. MLB.com currently has the 19-year-old ranked as its 25th best prospect.

Montgomery played shortstop in high school, but multiple mock drafts list him as a third baseman. His placement varies in mock drafts, but his floor appears to be chosen by the Chicago White Sox at No. 22, as Fangraphs.com mocked him to the South Siders on Tuesday. Montgomery has also been mocked to the Chicago Cubs at the 21st pick and to the New York Mets at 10th overall.

The Indiana University signee told The Herald in May that where he is selected in the draft will influence his decision to honor his commitment to IU or head off to the organization that calls his name.

He also attended the first MLB Draft Combine in North Carolina after Southridge took the Class 3A State Championship — finally climbing to the top after a pair of Class 2A runner-up finishes during Montgomery’s freshman and sophomore years in 2018 and 2019. Hanover Central intentionally walked him twice — with him coming around to score a run the second time.

Montgomery would hardly be the first player from a local school to be drafted. Jasper has had Scott Rolen, Phil Kendall and Matt Mauck. Fellow Raiders Joe Keusch, Alex Graman and Mitch Stetter all had their names called when they were younger. Forest Park alumnus Brian Partenheimer got chosen, as did Mark Wahl and Cole Seifrig of Heritage Hills.

Rolen, Graman and Stetter all got the call to the majors, as did Huntingburg’s Buddy Blemker for one game in 1960 with the then-Kansas City Athletics.

Montgomery spoke to MLB Network during his time at the combine in June. His frame has drawn comparisons to Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, the MVP of the 2020 World Series.

Montgomery had a meeting with the Kansas City Royals prior to his MLB Network interview, and the Royals asked him a variety of questions, such as what he can improve on, what his weaknesses are and if he’s ready for the lifestyle of professional baseball. Montgomery said it would take time to get used to, but that he’s ready for it.

The first round of the draft is set to air at 7:07 p.m. Sunday on ESPN.

“I can’t wait to hear his name get called because I know he’s a great kid,” Schank said. “And that’s what’s most important to me is that he’s a great kid. He was always a great friend, and I know he deserves the world, and I know he’s finally going to get what he deserves come Draft Day.”




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