The Colorado Rockies ninth overall rated prospect, Ryan McMahon, has had a phenomenal year, hitting .326 at Double-A Hartford in just 49 games before being promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque. While McMahon has recently gained the attention of many Rockies fans, I have been a fan of his since one night in September 2014.
McMahon was once ranked as high as the #43 prospect in all of baseball. He then fell off as a result of strikeout-itis, among other things. Coming into this past year, McMahon was ranked ninth in the Rockies organization, but given a bleak outlook on his future by many scouts and analysts.
McMahon set out on the 2017 campaign to prove them wrong. He saw the ball well early on in the season, keeping his batting average well above .300 for the first few months of the season. His stellar year earned him a promotion from Double-A Hartford to Triple-A Albuquerque.
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Just this past week, McMahon was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for June 12-18. During the week, he hit .593 with four doubles, five homeruns, and 14 RBI. Incredibly, McMahon earned the honor in only his second week at the AAA level.
While many casual fans have taken note of McMahon recently, I became a fan of his almost three years ago, one night in the middle of September 2014 in Hagerstown, Maryland after game five of the South Atlantic League Championship Series.
Being the huge minor league baseball fan that I am, it should come as no surprise that I am a season ticket holder at the closest minor league ballpark, home to the Hagerstown Suns. As a result, I was at games three, four, and five of the 2014 South Atlantic League Championship series between the Asheville Tourists and the Hagerstown Suns.
On the Asheville side of things, the series featured many top prospects at the time, including Raimel Tapia and David Dahl. As the 15-year-old I was at the time, I was intrigued by the opportunity to get the autographs of two of the top prospects in the Rockies system.
Unfortunately, I was never able to get close enough to either one of them to get their autographs, but I was able to get the autograph of Ryan McMahon before the final game, a young third baseman who looked like he could have some potential in the future.
At this point, I could already tell I would be a fan of McMahon’s for a while to come, but after the game, which Asheville won 4-1 to clinch the title, he made me a lifetime fan. While walking towards the clubhouse, he told me to wait outside, that he had something inside the clubhouse for me.
I anxiously waited outside the clubhouse and was thrilled when McMahon came out and tossed an autographed hat in my direction. Upon a little research, I discovered that the hat McMahon gave me was the away hat that he wore in every game on the road during the 2014 season.
I have diligently followed McMahon since and rooted for his success. Recently, I tweeted the following after McMahon was named player of the week:
Hopefully, McMahon will continue his hot hitting and get to the big league club. However, no matter what he does, he will always have a fan in me.