The Chicago White Sox will reportedly promote pitching prospect Francellis "Frankie" Montas to the major league roster on Friday, making him the 26th man available for the scheduled double-header against the Kansas City Royals.
Montas is in the midst of an excellent season for the Birmingham Barons in the Double-A Southern League, with a 2.47 ERA in 15 starts, a 62/29 K/BB in 73 innings with 53 hits allowed. This includes a seven-inning no-hitter back on June 9th. He also created a stir in the 2015 MLB Futures Game last weekend with a fastball clocked as high as 101 MPH.
Signed by the Boston Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, Montas was traded to the White Sox in the 2013 Jake Peavy trade. He missed much of 2014 with knee problems but has been effective and healthy this season. The fastball is obviously the key asset for the 22-year-old right-hander but his secondary pitches (slider, change-up) have taken longer to develop.
Despite his impressive radar gun readings, Montas' strikeout rates are nothing special which likely reflects the need to further broaden his arsenal. His command and control aren't perfect either but have improved compared to where they were earlier in his career. He has also greatly reduced his home run rates, giving up just one long bomb this year. His mechanics are also smoother and more consistent than they were earlier in his career.
Although Montas has been developed as a starter to this point, relief work could be his long-term destination if his secondary pitches remain problematic.