Mike Montgomery & Tyler Collins: Deep League Wire

It’s not often I have a streak of deep league waiver wire recommendations that have been so ridiculously poor. Let’s recap, shall we?

Last week, I recommended Marc Krauss. The very next day, he was DFA’d.

Two weeks ago, I recommended Drew Stubbs. He was option to Triple-A that night. But that wasn’t all. In that post, I also recommended Tommy Field. He was DFA’d last Saturday. Though I did end my blurb on him by saying, “This is not a long-term recommendation and his opportunity might be shorter than Stubbs’.”

Three weeks ago, I recommended Jackie Bradley Jr. He was sent back to Triple-A nine days later.

Oof, that’s pathetic. It either goes to show you how difficult it is to recommend these types of players or I have just done a terrible job sorting through the trash to uncover a gem. Probably a little of both. Here’s to hoping my streak has ended and better recommendations are in my future!

Mike Montgomery | SP SEA | 5% Owned

If Montgomery’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he was a one-time top prospect in the Royals system. And although it seems like eons ago when he topped organizational prospect lists, he’s actually still just 25. After being part of the package for James Shields, the Rays then shipped him off to Seattle at the end of March. Kiley McDaniel wrote up a short blurb on him over the offseason, calling his fastball and changeup above average, but noting that his slider and curve are both below average. He speculated that Montgomery fits as a 7th inning guy/spot starter/long man, which isn’t much praise.

His minor league career has largely been unremarkable. His strikeout rate has hovered in the high teen to low 20% range, while his walk rate has generally been in the 7% to 10% range, which is seemingly an average to below average mark. Judging by his mid-40% ground ball rate, he looks to possess a league average batted ball profile. So far, there is little to excite us. But, Seattle remains a pitcher’s park, which should help keep some of those fly balls in the park.

The good news is that this isn’t just a spot start opportunity, as he’ll get the chance to stick for a little while with James Paxton on the disabled list. I’m not expecting a whole lot, but providing some innings and avoiding a complete implosion should allow him to earn a bit of AL-Only value.

Tyler Collins | OF DET | 0% Owned

Victor Martinez’s injury and subsequent DL stint has opened up DH at-bats in Detroit. So far, it appears that Collins is the big beneficiary, as he’s garnered most of the starts when a right-hander is on the mound. However, the lefty is sure to sit when a southpaw starts. The near-25-year-old has posted generally average strikeout and walk rates over his minor league career and has never posted a BABIP above .319 at any stop. That’s not a good sign when it comes to his batting average potential.

But he does potentially offer something for fantasy owners. He hit 23 homers in 2013 and 19 in 2014, so he has some pop. Of course, that probably just equates to mid-teens power given a full season of plate appearances. While he doesn’t stand out with his power, he makes up for it with decent wheels. He swiped eight bases in nine attempts during his time in the minors this year and has stolen as many as 20 in a season, albeit back in 2012.

His rest of season projections hint at that respectable combination of power and speed. Extrapolated over 600 plate appearances, ZiPS projects 16 homers and 10 steals, while Steamer forecasts slightly better and 18 and 11. Given my recent recommendation history, there’s a non-zero chance that Collins is optioned back to the minors before this is even published. But with obvious options to fill the DH slot, Collins could continue to play as long as he performs respectably at the plate.

Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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baltic wolfmember
8 years ago

Mike: I picked up Trevor May a couple of weeks ago in a 16 team points keeper league. I did it out of necessity b/c Smyly was shut down. Now that Strasburg is out indefinitely (I don’t trust the Nats to give accurate information about injuries, they downplayed Harper’s injury a couple of years ago) I have an urgency for scrub starters.

Do you like May about the same or less than Montgomery in the short term? At some point, I have to drop a SP to make room for an extra bench bat.

And maybe Strasburg will be back in a couple of weeks after all, which will create more roster pressure.

8 years ago
Reply to  baltic wolf

They look to be pretty similar as far as K/9, BB/9 and xFIP. I would expect around a 4 ERA for both, with more downside risk for Montgomery. Given that May has just been a little more consistent and looks to have a job longer term I would lean in his direction longer term but I wouldn’t have huge expectations.

Mike W.
8 years ago
Reply to  baltic wolf

I would go with May. That 50/9 K/BB rate is impressive and is a far more proven commodity than Montgomery.