Releases

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2004
Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

Montani will start season with Orioles' minor league team in Frederick

Former Binghamton University baseball standout Jeff Montani (1999-01) will begin his fourth season of professional ball with the Class A Frederick Keyes (Md.) this spring. Montani, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 36th round in 2001, was moved up to the club's advanced level A affiliate after a solid campaign in 2003. Playing for the Class A Delmarva Shorebirds, Montani led all Oriole minor leaguers with 23 saves, and added four wins in a club-record 58 appearances. He spent time this spring with the parent club in spring training in Ft. Lauderdale, and is expected to be Frederick's closer this summer.

Recently, sportswriter Jon Wilt gave the following assessment of Montani:

Bio: Montani was a standout starting pitcher for three years at Binghamton University, picking up 15 wins for the Bearcats. His final year in college he won a team-high six games, pitched a no-hitter against Lehigh, and had a 10 strikeout performance against Army. Not blessed with the height normally associated with a fireballing right-hander, Montani nevertheless touches the high-90s on the radar gun. Maybe due in part to his stature, he was a late-round selection of the Orioles in 2001, and got his first professional experience with the O's rookie league team in Bluefield. Despite his success as a starter in college, the Orioles have been grooming him as a closer throughout his professional career.

2003: Jeff was the Delmarva Shorebirds' last man out of the pen for all of 2004. He lead all Oriole minor leaguers with 23 saves, and set a Delmarva record with his 58 games pitched. Pitched very well during the first half of the season, faded down the stretch, but wasn't scored on in his last six appearances.

Strengths: Montani's weapon of choice is high-90s gas. He also throws a curve, although right now it's not as consistent as his fastball. Likes to challenge hitters and to work on the inside part of the plate.

Weaknesses: He's improved his mechanics since college, but still struggles with pitch-to-pitch consistency. Was injured his first year as a pro.

2004 Outlook: Should be Frederick's closer, but will need to build on his past success to continue moving through the system.

Montani pitched three years for head coach Tim Sinicki's Bearcats, tossing a no-hitter against Lehigh and gaining notoriety for his 90+ mph fastball. He posted 15 wins with a 3.63 earned run average in three seasons. In his final collegiate season, Montani was a first-team all-conference pick after leading Binghamton to 19 wins and a runner-up finish in the Division I New York State Baseball Conference. He struck out 73 batters in 80 innings, and won a team-high six games.

In June 2001, Montani became the seventh BU baseball player to sign a professional contract when the Orioles selected him.

Frederick plays in the eight-team Carolina League. The team's schedule runs from April through early September.

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