Ryan McMahon Scouting Report (2014)
Next to David Dahl and Raimel Tapia, Rockies prospect Ryan McMahon fades into the background. Between Dahl’s loud tools and Tapia being extremely raw, a more complete player with few weaknesses will be overlooked. But over multiple viewings, McMahon’s skill set will grow on evaluators who look back at their notes brimming with praise for the left-handed hitter. And with a .999 OPS in the South Atlantic League as a 19-year old, who can blame them? The third baseman is yet another excellent Colorado draft pick in an organization whose scouting and player development department is hitting on all cylinders.
At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Ryan McMahon has an athletic, well-proportioned frame. With fluid movements on offense and defense, he has the ability to add 25-30 pounds without becoming a “plodder.” Added size and strength will also improve his power projection, although it’s already a strength. In Asheville, many hitters post huge power numbers at home, but struggle on the road. Let’s call it, “Pulling an Ian Stewart.” McMahon’s nine home runs are even more impressive because six of them have been on the road.
In batting practice, Ryan McMahon presents with simple swing mechanics producing well above average power. Leverage and weight transfer come easy to McMahon, along with the ability to stay inside the baseball. His slight uppercut helps with loft, but also causes the swing to become long in game action. Consistency for every Single-A baseball player is considered a work in progress, but McMahon has the hitting foundation to develop quickly. Next to Rangers Ronald Guzman, McMahon had the loudest batting practice session of the day.
Against live pitching, McMahon made consistent, barrel contact, resulting in hard ground balls and line drives. Against a pair of mid-to-upper 80’s starting pitchers, Ryan McMahon was consistently ahead of fastballs. In one at bat, the left-handed hitter sat back on a change-up and punched it into right-center field. Later in the game, McMahon took an 88 MPH fastball the other way for a single against a left-handed pitcher. The latter hit was an “ah-ha” moment. Right now, consider him a gap-to-gap hitter with the ability to drop the bat head on an inside fastball.
With the ability to work deep counts and draw a walk comes a tendency to strikeout. With two strikes, McMahon didn’t change his approach, continuing to be patient and taking aggressive cuts. The result was a strikeout looking and swinging in the two game sample. 34 strikeouts in 99 at bats is too many, but nothing indicates an abundance of swing-and-miss in his offensive game.
On defense, Ryan McMahon showed above average range to his left, fielding a ground ball in the 5/6 and gunning the runner at first base. Another play found the third baseman charging a slow roller and firing a strike for an out. At the MLB level, McMahon projects to provide value on offense and defense.
Speed isn’t a part of McMahon’s game, but he has enough of it to avoid being a base clogger. It takes him a few steps to gain steam out of the batter’s box, but McMahon is an average runner when underway.
Ryan McMahon has the tools of a player deserving of a higher draft slot. Having scouted a number of top-100 prospects in 2013, only injury will cause the Rockies prospect to miss the cut. Going forward, look for him to continue producing impressive power numbers and gaudy strikeout totals unless McMahon begins to adjust with two strikes. In his prime, McMahon has the ceiling of an above average regular with star potential if things break right.
Tool Present Future Projected Role Above Average To Star Level 3B Hitting Ability 40 55 Power 35 55 Speed 50 40 Fielding Ability 50 60 Arm 55 60
Owning Ryan McMahon
In 2013, only ten qualified third baseman produced at +10% above the league average offensively. At the 20% cut off, the list shrinks to six. In years past, third base was the domain of slow sluggers who mashed their way to glory. This is no longer the case, making Ryan McMahon a valuable asset. Admittedly, it’s difficult to gauge Rockies position prospects before the California League. With Will Swanner, Trevor Story and Rosell Herrera struggling after leaving the South Atlantic League, a monster season would cause me to consider selling high on the left-handed hitter
7 May 2014 / Mike Newman /
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