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Montgomery named top KC prospect

Hart grad getting ready with Canyon grad Chris Seddon as Spring Training approaches for both players

Posted: January 21, 2010 9:59 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Hart graduate Michael Montgomery, left, and Canyon grad Chris Seddon will continue their baseball careers next month when they report to Spring Training. The two have been training together during the offseason.

 
After just one full season, Hart High graduate Michael Montgomery has been rated by Baseball America as the Kansas City Royals' top prospect.

Montgomery, who is preparing to report for the Royals' minor league camp in Surprise, Ariz. on Feb. 26, said he won't let the honor get to his head.

"Those really don't matter. It's an outside source looking in, but to get that, it's a big deal," Montgomery said. "It's humbling."

The 20-year-old left-handed pitcher said it's a reward for all the hard work he has put in.

Montgomery said he has spent much of the offseason throwing, stretching and even doing yoga.

Baseball America is one of the sport's premier publications.

Before each season, the multimedia company puts together a list of each Major League team's top-10 prospects.

Montgomery wasn't even on the list coming into the 2009 season, but a stellar year sent his stock soaring.

He went a combined 6-4 with a 2.21 ERA in 21 starts between the Burlington Bees and Wilmington Blue Rocks - both Single-A affiliates of the Royals.

He was recently awarded the Royals organization's minor league pitcher of the year award.

"Obviously, God gave me the talent and ability, but the hard work, I put in a lot of work and it kind of paid off in a way," Montgomery said of his 2009 season. "I learned how you have to work."

Montgomery said by the end of the season his fastball was consistently in the low 90s and he continued to hone an already solid changeup and palm ball.

Another pitch he has been working hard on is his curve ball.

Montgomery said he worked with Mark Davis, the 1989 National League Cy Young Award winner and pitching coach in the Royals organization, on further developing his curve ball.

The 2008 Hart graduate and 2008 first-round draft pick has also been working in the offseason with 2001 Canyon grad, and pitcher in the Seattle Mariners organization, Chris Seddon.

The pair met through Alan Jaeger, a Los Angeles-based coach who helps baseball players with the mental approach of the game.

Montgomery and Seddon had never met prior to this winter, but the two have become fast friends and have worked together recently.

"His arm looks in great shape," Montgomery said of Seddon. "He looks really good going to big-league camp. He says he has a really good opportunity in Seattle."

Seddon is a nonroster invitee to Seattle Mariners big-league camp.

He will report Feb. 17.

"I met the coaches and I'm eager and anxious to show them," Seddon said. "I have to stay within myself and be relaxed. One thing I'll strive for is to attack hitters."

Seddon said he wants to be more aggressive in 2010, despite a solid 2009.

The 26-year-old went 9-8 with a 4.51 ERA in 25 games, 24 starts.

"I felt strong," Seddon said of last season. "It's the mental part I'm going to tweak a little."


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