Carson Montgomery is one of the best arms in the class, not just on the prep side. He’s rated the #1 RHP in Florida and the 17th best player in the nation by Perfect Game. Montgomery comes out of Windermere, FL and Windermere HS. He has a projectable 6’2”, 208-lb frame. He has an easy, athletic delivery that leaves a lot of room to add to and compares to CJ Van Eyk to him, with a little more polish coming out of high school.
The fastball sits 92-94 MPH and has been up to 96 MPH. The pitch has a good bit of natural arm side run to it, often looking like a 2-seam fastball. The ball jumps out of his hand and can run up and in on righties hands. The out-pitch is his hard-biting slider with wicked late movement to it and is hard to pick up off the fastball. He has an advanced ability to throw it for a strike or for a swing-and-miss. A firm, fading changeup is the third pitch. It still needs some development, but has flashed average, which keeps lefties off the fastball.
Like all big name high schoolers, signability comes into question here. Montgomery has every reason to ask well over slot, and he likely will. He’s one of the youngest arms in the class, still just 17 years old. If he goes to school, he could be draft eligible again at just 20 years old with three years of ACC ball under his belt. He also has lots more room to fill out and could take time in college to do that as well.
Montgomery is a top 30-pick talent, but could see his name called in the top few picks of the second round, as those teams have the largest pool of bonus money to use on their picks. If he starts to slide past that mark, he’s likely going to come to FSU. Predicting these situations this year is harder than ever. Teams may go for the home run, while others may play it safe and save up on their money.
AJ Shaver isn’t as popular a name as Montgomery, but he has all the tools to be a top-five round pick. Shaver is rated the 8th best OF in the state of FL and the 116th overall player in the nation by Perfect Game. He’s nearly a year older than Montgomery at 18 and 8 months. Shaver comes from Clermont, FL and South Lake high school. He stands at 6’2”, 197 pounds.
The tool set reminds me a lot of Elijah Cabell, with a bit less pop and some more consistent contact. It’s easy power from a very physical frame. The swing is short and quick to the ball. He’s consistently produced exit velocities in the high 90’s and has performed well everywhere he goes, including making the top prospect team at the 2019 PG National Showcase.
Shaver pairs the power with athleticism all over the field. He’s ran a sub-6.5 60-yard and has shown the ability to range the outfield from all three positions but likely profiles as a CF at the next level. He also shows off the arm strength in the OF, topping out at 92 MPH.
There’s no guarantee Shaver gets drafted, but he has the toolset that a team may jump at if they’re looking for high ceiling prep bats. He could also ask for over the slot in the 3rd-5th rounds, so a team with a large signing pool would likely have to take him. If he reaches campus, FSU could use him on the mound year one, before moving him to the OF next season, depending on how the depth chart pans out.
2020 OF AJ Shaver of @ftbteams just put on an impressive round of BP, driving several way over the LF wall. This one here landed way over the LC wall. Physical frame and when he squares it up he makes loud, hard contact. @fsubaseball commit. pic.twitter.com/WyiuQYCuDB— Mike Maerz (@Mike_Maerz) October 10, 2019