Mike Montville coaching Red Sox minor leaguers to greater success

POMONA, NY - JUNE 25: Mike Montville #4 of the Rockland Boulders watch the flight of home run ball against the Cuban National Team at Palisades Credit Union Park on June 25, 2016 in Pomona, New York. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/Getty Images)
POMONA, NY - JUNE 25: Mike Montville #4 of the Rockland Boulders watch the flight of home run ball against the Cuban National Team at Palisades Credit Union Park on June 25, 2016 in Pomona, New York. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/Getty Images) /

Red Sox Triple-A Assistant Hitting Coach Mike Montville is playing a key role

It’s easy to forget how close we were to experiencing a reality where the beginning of the 2022 Major League Baseball season was canceled. But while the MLB lockout remained in full effect, March 6 marked the first time in months that the batting cages and back fields at JetBlue Park were full of life. It was the official start of minor league camp, and top Boston Red Sox prospects like Triston Casas, Marcelo Mayer and Nick Yorke were amongst the many players in attendance on Day One.

With so much talent spread across the minor league levels of the Red Sox organization, the MLB lockout provided a silver lining: An opportunity to get a closer look at how the Red Sox minor league coaching staff enables players to take the next steps in their development and maximize their potential. A key step in this process – particularly for hitters – is working with Mike Montville, the assistant hitting coach for the Triple-A WooSox.

Montville, a two-time New Hampshire Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year (2009 & 2010) at Portsmouth High School, is returning for his third season coaching in the Red Sox organization.

I had the opportunity to interview Montville recently. “It’s so cool,” he said, about making a direct impact on the success of the organization he grew up watching.

"“You watch all these players on NESN, and then you get to know them in real life. To be a part of it at the AAA level – our whole player development system is so important, and you realize it when you get in there… To be right there in the mix with the big-league club, I’m working with guys that are trying to help us win a World Series.”"

Montville grew up just an hour north of Fenway Park in Portsmouth, NH. He was a standout in New England high school baseball from 2007-2010, leading Portsmouth High School to three straight New Hampshire state championships, and the first 63 wins of an 89-game winning streak – a national high school record that stands today.

After being heavily recruited by schools like Connecticut, Northeastern, Penn State and Winthrop, Montville committed to play baseball at the University of Maryland where he ranked second on the team in home runs through his first two seasons as a Terrapin. His junior and senior seasons, however, were limited by injuries. After receiving a medical redshirt his junior season and appearing in 32 games his senior year, Montville played his final season of NCAA eligibility at Southern New Hampshire University where he led the team with a .361 batting average and 1.095 OPS in 35 games played.

Montville went on to play three seasons for the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League before beginning his coaching career when founding PowerHouse Sports, a training facility in Seabrook, NH dedicated to helping rotational athletes maximize their performance. Since opening, Montville and his team have aided the development of over 60 college and professional athletes.

"“Our process starts with taking guys through an assessment,” Montville explained when asked about the results that PowerHouse Sports helps its athletes achieve. “We get to know them and how they move… We figure out what we think we can improve upon, and we tailor each plan to the individual, both from a hitting standpoint and a pitching standpoint. And it’s not just baseball and softball, we specialize in football, lacrosse, golf, and track too.”"

Montville’s knowledge of both the game of baseball and performance training, as well as his ability to relate to athletes on a personal level were instrumental in the quick growth of PowerHouse Sports. They are also likely key reasons why he was a heavily sought-after coach by people within the Red Sox organization.

"“One of my former teammates is now one of (the Red Sox) hitting coordinators,” Montville said. “It was a year into the business (at PowerHouse Sports) and he was like ‘Can you leave? We need a guy for the Red Sox, and you check our boxes, so I want to put your name in for it.’ And so, he did, and I went through a long interview process, and it was ultimately the right fit.”"

The 2020 season was Montville’s first as a coach within the Red Sox organization, and he was set to serve on the Florida Complex League staff before the season was shut down two weeks into Spring Training due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When minor league baseball returned in 2021, Montville was named to the inaugural coaching staff of the AAA WooSox, working alongside Red Sox Hall of Famer Rich Gedman in support of minor league hitters on the cusp of the major leagues.

With Montville on the staff, the 2021 Worcester Red Sox saw an immediate offensive improvement, getting on base more often and scoring more runs per game than the 2019 Pawtucket Red Sox. The improved offense led to 15 more wins in 12 fewer games played, and the Red Sox made sure to keep the Montville-Gedman AAA tandem together for the 2022 season.

"“We come to very similar conclusions – we’re on the same page with stuff,” Montville said about the chemistry that him and Gedman have created. “I think it helps our players because the way I approach things and the way he approaches things are a little different messaging, but similar conclusions. There are times where I may need to work with a guy a little more because how I present things may work better for him, and there are times when Geddy needs to take a guy because how he presents things work better for that guy. It’s a great dynamic and we work really well together.”"

The WooSox have an abundance of offensive talent on the AAA roster to begin the 2022 season, with guys like Casas, Jarren Duran, Jeter Downs and Ryan Fitzgerald starting the year in Worcester. Montville is set to play a vital role in each hitter’s ability to develop into a mainstay in the major league lineup.

"“It’s a little bit more of a process to get them up to the big leagues,” he said. “But we’ve got some really good players that can make an impact. They’re all awesome kids and they’ve got great energy.”"

Next. Players to Watch in Worcester This Season. dark