The draft is quickly approaching, and the Mariners have been linked to quite a few players. In large part, this is due to the uncertainty of who could be available at #12. There are some promising starting pitchers, a middle infielder that many are high on, as well as a couple of outfielders. We looked at a speedy college outfielder the other day. If they want a speedy high school outfielder, they could go with Benny Montgomery.
Right off the bat, Benny Montgomery reminds me of Michael Saunders. I don’t know what it is, but seeing a good defender in the outfield, one that is tall and lanky with good speed and decent pop, I’m instantly reminded of the Condor. The big difference is that Montgomery has plus-plus speed, putting him near the top of the draft class.
Benny Montgomery would provide the Mariners with great future depth to their outfield.
At 6’4 and sitting near 200 pounds, you can see the easy comparison. If you’re wondering about the speed grade that he got, you might be right in thinking that 70 could be incorrect. That’s become some of those who have graded him have actually pushed for a 75/80 rating on his speed. That’s top-end high-class speed.
Then, the pop. You would think a guy with that kind of speed would possibly have just a bit of power, given his grade at 55. Once again, you would be right that it could be changed. That’s due to him winning the Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Derby. Top-end speed and raw power? It’s an incredible combo. So, why isn’t he higher in draft rankings?
His swing leaves a bit to be desired, as the path he takes can be inefficient to get to his power. The lack of consistency can be a concern, especially when high schoolers make that leap to professional ball. I’m not talking about MLB pro ball, but just lower-end minor league ball.
Due to the swing path and consistency issues, his hit tool is easily his lowest, earning a grade of 45. It’s not a major worry for Montgomery, as many scouts have him as one of the hardest-working players in the draft.
Outside of that, he has a plus glove and is a fast/twitchy player. Think of some of the bigger twitchy guys that have played, similar to Hunter Pence or Jayson Werth. He takes advantage of that speed by pairing it with a plus glove and plus arm to rate as one of the better outfield defenders in the class.
If the Mariners decide to build outfield depth for 2024 and beyond, taking Benny Montgomery, the high school player of the year from Pennsylvania, would be a great choice. When pick #12 comes up, they will have a tough choice to make.