Colorado Rockies’ No. 3 overall prospect Ryan McMahon‘s contract was selected by the big league club on Friday ahead of their series in Miami. The corresponding move was to option OF Raimel Tapia to Triple-A and designate MiLB LHP Sam Moll for assignment.

McMahon, the second highest-rated position player prospect to Brendan Rodgers, was ranked as high as the No. 36 prospect in all of baseball coming into 2016 before a “bad year” at Double-A dropped him. That bad year consisted of playing a new position, being the youngest player in the Eastern League and not playing a single home game.

Now firmly back in most Top 100 rankings in baseball, the second round pick from 2013 slashed .326/.390/.536 this year at Double-A Hartford, repeating the level. He had six home runs, 32 RBI and 28 runs scored in 208 plate appearances (49 games) for the Yard Goats.

Since his call up to Triple-A, he’s arguably been the best hitter in the minors. He had torrid three game stretch in his first 15 games where he went 12-for-15 over his last three games with three doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI. Overall with the Isotopes he has a 162 wRC+ and is slashing .375/.409/.625 with 13 homers, 50 RBI and 43 runs scored.

The left-handed hitting and right-handed fielding McMahon is a natural third baseman with a big personality. Of course, with Nolan Arenado around he likely won’t play much third base, that’s why the Rockies have moved him to first and second in the minors and he very well could play the corner outfield spots although he hasn’t as a pro.

The 22-year-old McMahon graduated from Mater Dei High School in Santa Anna, California. A football school—which produced Matt Barkley. He was the starting quarterback but was drafted by the Rockies and forwent college. He’s accelerated at a good pace through the minor leagues and would’ve been added to the 40-man roster anyway this winter to protect him from the Rule Five Draft. That’s why many, including us, predicted he would join the club in September at the latest. He is now the third-youngest member of the roster, being one month older than Antonio Senzatela and two months older than German Marquez.

Tapia has had a difficult time sticking at the MLB level with the Rockies plethora of outfielders. While it is fair to argue that the rookie’s production outweighs that of Carlos Gonzalez, who is still getting regular starts, the roster decision isn’t as easy as taking one over the other at this time. Gonzalez has meant so much to this organization and to the city of Denver and could also be a major asset down the stretch. With just a few weeks before the rosters expand, there’s no need to start parting ways with players who have the kind of legacy that CarGo does, especially now that he is showing signs of life. Tapia will be back.

McMahon could very well make the postseason roster given his versatilely and bat. Right now, he will spell Mark Reynolds, who Thomas Harding of MLB.com notes has a sore hand.

McMahon joined the BSN Rockies Podcast during spring training before the 2017 and talked to us about his adjustments, his approach at the plate, and what he called some of his “favorite memories ever.”

“RyMac” will don uniform No. 1, which was last worn by Brandon Barnes.

 

Jake Shapiro

Since he was a teenager Jake has been a credentialed reporter, now he works on the Colorado Rockies beats for BSN Denver. Shap was discovered by a BSN Denver employee while picking a fight in Beer League Softball—despite his five-foot-three frame—earning him respect and a job. He does play-by-play on the radio for all CU games, and studied Journalism at the University of Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Shapalicious.

  • Jay Allenby

    Too bad he can’t play shortstop. Trevor Story is pathetic.