Braden Montgomery sought a new challenge this offseason. The talented two-way player transferred from Stanford to Texas A&M to further his development against Southeastern Conference competition.
Montgomery, an outfielder and right-handed pitcher, was a well-regarded recruit out of the Mississippi high school ranks in 2021. A talented student and baseball player, Montgomery wanted to play college baseball and thrived in his two years at Stanford.
This season, Montgomery has high expectations for his junior season after transferring to a new program. Scouts consider Montgomery as a potential first-round pick in the 2024 MLB draft due to his skill set as a position player. It marks the second time he’s draft-eligible after receiving early-round interest in high school.
“I think it just helps being three years older and more mature,” Montgomery said. “That is what is really going to help me deserve between that. Just having done it for the best couple of years will be the tell-all because the process has been different to this point.”
In his first two years, Montgomery primarily served as a position player, playing right field for Stanford. He hit .315 with 35 home runs and 118 RBIs in 489 at-bats to help Stanford reach the College World Series each season. He showed growth with his plate discipline, cutting down on his strikeouts and increasing his walks from his freshman to sophomore year.
Montgomery joins Texas A&M as one of the best hitters in the country. He is eager to learn and grow in Texas A&M’s player development system.
“For where I want to be and where I want to take my professional career, I thought coming to A&M would be the best spot to prepare me for professional baseball,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery is a 6-foot-2, 217-pound switch-hitting outfielder known for his five-tool potential.
The switch hitter has a simple setup and a gap-to-gap approach. He consistently barrels up pitches and displays above-average power from both sides of the plate. He has improved his plate discipline in college, crediting his growth in the mental game and approach for his development.
Montgomery also is extremely athletic, which helps him on the bases and in the field. He profiles as a right fielder in pro ball due to his elite arm strength, quality throwing accuracy, and ability to cover plenty of ground.
“My adjustability and ability to notice when I’m not taking reps to my capability are my biggest strengths,” Montgomery said. “I believe I have the self-awareness to know when I’m off and what I need to do to get back to being me.”
Montgomery features plenty of potential as a two-way player. Right now, scouts envision him as a position player long term. But Montgomery embraces the challenge of doing both and hopes to see growth on the mound this season.
The right-handed pitcher mainly worked as a reliever in his first two years at Stanford. He posted an 8.54 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 32 walks allowed in 32 2/3 innings.
This fall, Montgomery has had the luxury to work with pitching coach Max Weiner. Weiner joined Texas A&M after working in the pro ranks as a pitching coordinator with the Cleveland Guardians (2018) and Seattle Mariners (2019-23).
Weiner’s proven track record has helped Montgomery tweak and fine-tune his pitches this fall. He also has helped Montgomery develop confidence in his skill set on the mound, Montgomery said. Montgomery throws a fastball, slider and changeup from a clean and easy delivery. His fastball touches the high 90s.
“I want to focus on keeping my strengths my strengths and raising the bar on my weaknesses,” Montgomery said. “I just want to play to move the needle on everything I do.”
Montgomery will play a key role as a two-way player for Texas A&M this season. The Aggies have qualified for the NCAA Tournament each of the last two years, including the College World Series in 2022. This season, the Aggies hope to return to the CWS for the eighth time in program history.
“We are going to be headhunting this year,” Montgomery said. “It’s going to be a year everybody is going to have to watch out for us.”
Read in-depth profiles on Braden Montgomery from when he was a top MLB draft prospect in high school HERE.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.