Frankie Montas is on fire, and the American League has taken notice.
The Oakland A’s pitcher was named AL Player of the Week on Monday, the first such honor of his career. Montas made two starts last week, against the Seattle Mariners on Monday and the Houston Astros on Saturday, and he won them both with seven-inning gems. He allowed one total run while striking out 14 batters.
Montas, last week: 0.64 ERA, 14 ip, 14 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HR, 6 hits
The right-hander entered the year with high expectations, and he’s fully lived up to them so far. He earned the Opening Day nod after a breakout 2019 campaign, and through four starts he has a 1.57 ERA and is yet to allow more than two runs in a game, with a strong 2.36 FIP and .258 xwOBA to back up his ace-level work. He’s already showing his durability too, as his 23 innings are fifth-most in the majors and third in the AL.
- Montas, 8/3 vs. SEA: 7 ip, 1 run, 9 Ks, 4 BB, 4 hits, .185 xwOBA
- Montas, 8/8 vs. HOU: 7 ip, 0 runs, 5 Ks, 0 BB, 2 hits, .246 xwOBA
How does Frankie do it? Twitter’s Pitching Ninja gives us good looks at his primary offerings. First up is the heater, which he used to pound the zone against Houston on Saturday.
Frankie Montas, 96mph Paint. pic.twitter.com/nSkPhpYW37— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 8, 2020
Then there’s the splitter, which helped elevate him to stardom last year.
Frankie Montas, Disappearing 85mph Splitter. pic.twitter.com/Ajpo1veDZB— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 4, 2020
And finally, the slider.
Frankie Montas, Nasty 88mph Slider...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/YTWu0sKFEH— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 8, 2020
That combination has proven to be too much for MLB hitters so far, and there’s no reason to expect anything to change on that front.
While this is Montas’ first POTW honor, the A’s are no strangers to the weekly award. Last year Mike Fiers, Marcus Semien, Ramon Laureano, and Mark Canha all took one home during the course of the summer. Click here to see the all-time list.
Oakland’s rotation is hot to begin 2020, with an AL-best 1.8 fWAR and a Top 10 ERA in the majors. But nobody on any AL club is hotter than their ace, Frankie Montas.