2018 was an interesting ride for Colorado Rockies infield prospect Ryan McMahon.
The 23-year-old didn’t see a lot of playing time but showed a flare for the dramatic–never more so than when he delivered game-winning home runs in back-to-back games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now the question is, will he be an everyday player in 2019? If so, where will he play?
Last season, he logged 197 1/3 innings at first base, 89 innings at third, and 71 1/3 innings at second and he played solid defense at each of those positions.
It has been speculated that with DJ LeMahieu likely departing via free agency, McMahon would step in to fill the void at second base. McMahon has more big league experience than any of the Rockies other infield prospects and would be a cheaper option at second than anyone they could bring in from outside the organization.
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Because of his youth and talent, McMahon is an exciting option to consider at second base. And while we haven’t seen it on full display at the majors quite yet, McMahon has the ability to be a consistent offensive threat. In 2017, he hit .355 with 20 home runs, 88 RBI and a .986 OPS across 119 Double-A and Triple-A games. McMahon is also a doubles machine and he will undoubtedly take advantage of the infamous Coors Field gaps if he gets regular playing time in 2019.
McMahon could become a huge advantage for Bud Black if he can put up those kinds of power numbers from second base. But McMahon isn’t the only potential power prospect eyeing a shot at second base next season.
Rockies top prospect Brendan Rodgers has primarily played shortstop for Colorado’s minor league affiliates but he has also seen plenty of time at second base, which appears to be his easiest path to the big leagues.
Rodgers has put up big power numbers since a young age and is one of the most anticipated prospects in all of baseball. The Rockies will watch him closely this spring training as he tries to earn a spot on the team.
Rodgers’ presence and recent comments by Rockies General Manager Jeff Bridich suggesting Ian Desmond could move to the outfield open up another opportunity for McMahon to make the starting line up–first base.
McMahon’s versatility could allow for a potentially power-packed (and still very young) infield in 2019 and beyond. Of course, this could all change if Colorado brings in a free agent slugger or gives up Rodgers or McMahon in a blockbuster trade, but for the moment it looks like a lot of young homegrown talent could be on display in 2019.