SCOTTSDALE — Last season, in their first full campaign of working together in the middle infield for the Colorado Rockies, Ryan McMahon and Trevor Story formed one of the best young up-the-middle duos in the National League.
Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon were indeed a “power couple” for the Colorado Rockies, belting a combined 59 homers and 168 RBI. Individually, they each finished in the top four in both categories on the team while putting up 7.9 WAR combined (with Story’s 6.5 leading the squad).
Defensively, Story finished fifth in Major League Baseball last season in Outs Above Average (OAA) with 15. McMahon, meanwhile, finished overall at 0. However, when looking at balls hit toward the first base side of McMahon’s range, the number jumped to 3. With Story’s range, McMahon could afford to lean more toward first base and help Daniel Murphy stay closer to the bag.
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But there’s more to the duo than just numbers. In fact, there has to be a bit of a deeper dive because, again, it was the first full season that McMahon and Story have patrolled the middle of the Rockies infield together. As Rockies fans are well aware, McMahon won the position in 2019 spring training after DJ LeMahieu signed with the New York Yankees. McMahon also knew the shadow that loomed at second with the Rockies
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it but I don’t think I ever felt any pressure,” McMahon told me in an exclusive chat. “We are two completely different players. DJ is an amazing player and he does some amazing things on the field. I also think there are some things I can do pretty well. I’m just going to try to go out there and do my thing and be the best Ryan McMahon that I can be.”
And he has been, slashing .250/.329/.450 in his first full big league season, belting 24 home runs (a franchise high for a Rockies primary second baseman) and finished third on the team with 56 walks.
But again, there’s more than just numbers at play here. When you talk to Story, McMahon, and Colorado manager Bud Black, you get a sense for just how deep the relationship and respect runs between shortstop and second base for the Rockies.