Montaous Walton. It is very unlikely that you have ever heard the name, unless you happened to read a recent long-form article written by Brandon Sneed for SBNation.com. And if you have not read the article, it is highly recommended that you do.
Montaous was a boy with a dream of playing baseball. He so longed to capture that dream that he would do whatever necessary to make others believe that he was well on his way to become a premier professional baseball player. Walton doctored up Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list by inserting his name in the list and showing it to his girlfriend. He also convinced an 82-year-old retired sportswriter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he signed with the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays. It did not stop there.
He logged on to message boards. He posted in blog comment sections. He emailed blog authors. He visited every baseball website he could think of. He created so many fake usernames it was hard to keep track of them all.
And so Montaous “the Prospect” was born.
Chapter 5 of Sneed’s article discusses Mantaous’ solicitation of an agent to represent him. Believe it or not, two agents bought his lies and signed him up. The agents were Travis Bell of The Seven Bridges Group and Colin Cummins, who used to work for Bell. Travis Bell’s name may sound familiar — he has written a few op-eds for this site, including one titled, What If Teams Colluded Against Jason Collins?
Bell racked up expenses flying Walton to Boston and then to Tampa Bay (under the impression that Walton was going there to attend Blue Jays’ fall camp). Walton was able to take advantage of the business relationship until Bell called the Blue Jays organization and realized that Walton was not on any of the affiliated clubs’ rosters. Cummins fell for the same tricks.
Then came this article by Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com, titled, Who is Montaous Walton? It exposed many of Montaous’ lies. But the story was not over. Montaous was arrested for fraud immediately after Sneed left Milwaukee after spending some time with Montaous to learn more about the “prospect” for his story.
Agents need to be careful when they are considering signing up players. That is especially the case when the players approach agents as opposed to the other way around. Bell and Cummins got burned by Walton, but they are certainly not the first (nor will they be the last) agents to fall for a player’s tricks.