Did Stanford Two-Way Star Braden Montgomery Enter Transfer Portal In Search Of NIL Riches?

It hasn’t been a great few days on “The Farm” in Palo Alto, California. The Stanford Cardinal baseball team lost key players to the MLB draft and now might lose rising junior and All Pac-12 performer Braden Montgomery. The outfielder and pitcher has entered the transfer portal, according to reports.

Projected 2024 Top-10 Pick

Montgomery is widely expected to be a first round pick in the 2024 MLB draft, with some prognosticators having him as high as the 10th overall pick. So it seems a strange time to transfer.

Last season he batted .336 for 17 home runs, 61 RBI, a .611 slugging percentage, and a .461 on-base percentage. Defensively, he had a .981 fielding percentage and just two errors.

His pitching numbers were not great, he had a 1-2 record along with a 12.21 ERA. But late in the season he proved to be a dependable weapon on the mound in the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments.

So again, why leave?

Looking For NIL Deals?

Some have suspected Montgomery, who is currently playing for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team with Stanford catcher Malcolm Moore, wants bigger NIL deals than what he can get playing for the Cardinal.

Entering the transfer portal off of a good season might mean he has a robust market of opportunities.

Enrique Bradfield Jr., a speedy Vanderbilt junior center fielder who was the No. 17 overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles this week in the MLB draft, holds the highest NIL valuation in college baseball at $59,000. 

When you’re a college kid, money is a welcome sight. But how much more could Montgomery realistically expect to bring in?

Another reason could be Montgomery was dissatisfied with how he was used. Tough to argue that point coming off All Pac-12 honors, but maybe he wanted to be rested less for pitching and go straight from the field to the mound? There have been no reports of Montgomery being upset.

The other option could be playing for a better baseball program. They’ve made the College World Series the past two years and finished first and third in the Pac-12. That’s pretty good.

But Montgomery, a Mississippi native, might want to play closer to home for an SEC program. LSU (College World Series champs), Florida, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas had great seasons.

There’s also no guarantee he leaves. Montgomery has only entered the portal. The situation has to be right for him to actually leave. Time will tell.

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