Hard work, small-town values put Colson Montgomery on cusp of pro baseball career
Montgomery projected as first-round pick in 2021 MLB Draft
HOLLAND, Ind. (WFIE) - The Tri-State has had many athletes star in the big leagues, such as Don Mattingly, Andy Benes, Brad Wilkerson and Scott Rolen. Stepping up to the plate now is Southridge graduate Colson Montgomery, who could someday add his name to that list.
14 Sports spoke with Montgomery and his father after they returned from the MLB Draft Combine, as the small-town superstar gets ready to hear his name called on draft night.
It’s not every day that kids like Montgomery come along - an uber-talented baseball star from Southridge High School, who’s humble, hard-working, well-mannered, and most importantly, an all-around team-first player.
“You always hear those small-town kids,” T.J. Montgomery, Colson’s father said. “They come from a small town with great values, and that’s the one thing that all these teams see in Colson: small-town values, hard-working kid.”
T.J. and Colson’s mother, Lisa, raised him and his four siblings with those values, and that’s translated directly to his success on the diamond.
“It’s just bred into their system - if you keep telling them and showing them and playing,” T.J. said “Every day we’d throw, and practice makes perfect. If we lose, we’ll lose graciously. If we win, we’ll win graciously, but we’re always going to be the hardest working person and your fundamentals are always going to be the best.”
All that hard work has propelled Montgomery to the cusp of a professional baseball career. Montgomery is projected as a first-round pick in the latest MLB mock drafts, ranging as high as the 10th overall pick to the New York Mets, which is quite the feat for a small-town kid from Holland, Indiana.
“Still, I really don’t believe what’s all happening right now,” Colson said. “I mean, I’m just kind of letting it all come to me, and I’m just kind of keeping the mindset of, ‘It’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to.’”
The Dubois County phenom started turning heads with his talent way before his high school days, but it’s impossible to predict the future.
“You’re like, ‘Yeah he’s good now, but what’s he going to be like?’” T.J. said. “One of his old baseball coaches called me. He was on the second team of the (Ironmen Baseball Club) down in Louisville when he was 12 years old, and that coach was like, ‘You know what, maybe we should’ve put him on that first team. We didn’t know he was going to grow up to be 6′4”, 225 pounds.’ Joe Keisch used to be our head baseball coach. He used to play pro ball with the (Texas Rangers). When we got back from the combine, Joe texted me and said, ‘I told you back in the 8th grade that he was going to be a first-rounder.’”
Colson has always been a highly skilled, multi-sport athlete. He played baseball, football and basketball, which was his first love and the sport he originally thought he’d focus on.
“I’ve played baseball ever since I was a little kid, but I really didn’t start taking it seriously until high school,” Colson, the former Southridge shortstop said. “Coming into my freshman year, I was playing high school baseball, and there was some D-1 coaches who came to look at Camden and Chase on our team, and then I had a good game, and they were wondering like, ‘Who’s that kid at shortstop?’ Then agents started coming into the picture. Finally, my junior year is really when I put all into baseball. Once you think one thing’s the best for you, then something else comes into the picture out of nowhere, and I kind of just went with that and let it be a sign.”
After helping lead Southridge to a state championship, Colson participated in the first-ever MLB Draft Combine. Later this week, the 19-year-old prospect and his whole family are heading to Denver, Colorado, where he will wait for his name to be called.
“Until they actually call his name, I won’t believe it,” T.J. said. “But I’m going to love every minute of it.”
“When the day comes to get picked, then that’s kind of when it’ll all finally start sinking in,” Colson said. “Coming in - feeling the emotions and everything.”
On Monday, Colson will be in Florida to work out in front of the Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays, before eventually traveling to Denver on Saturday.
The 2021 MLB Draft is scheduled for Sunday, July 11.
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