During the Colorado Rockies series in New York against the Mets, infielder Ryan McMahon has already made two spectacular plays while manning third base. But, as good as RyMac has been at third, this should be the scariest thing for opponents hitting a ball anywhere near McMahon:
Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon says he actually has become more comfortable at second base than he is at third.
Yes, that Ryan McMahon who entered Thursday’s doubleheader against the Mets as the National League leader in defensive WAR at 1.2 and has been flashing the leather in a big way at the corner in Queens told MLB Network on Thursday morning that he is more comfortable at second base now than even at third.
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Here’s the quote from McMahon about where he feels most comfortable now on the infield.
"“Honestly, I’d say second base now” McMahon told MLB Network in the interview you can watch below. “I came up as a third baseman but I’ve gotten a lot of reps at second and I love playing up the middle.”"
And it’s not only a comfort level for McMahon, but he says there is a fun aspect to it as well.
"“Man, turning two and spinning up the middle, that’s the fun part of the game,” McMahon said. “I love being out there. I’ve got a guy playing shortstop who helps me out obviously.”"
That “guy playing shortstop” is, of course, Trevor Story, who has become a big part of McMahon’s world, on and off the field as they both told me in this exclusive chat.
Take a listen to McMahon’s comments to MLB Network below.
To put McMahon’s comments into perspective, during his minor league career, he played just 406.0 innings at second base while playing 1,396.0 innings at first base and 3,461.2 at third base. Second base is a craft that McMahon has truly honed at the big league level.
With plays like the one below, it’s sometimes easy to forget that McMahon has not only taken over for DJ LeMahieu at second base after his departure to New York, but also Nolan Arenado at third base after his trade to St. Louis … and done it quite flawlessly.
And let’s not forget this gem from McMahon on Tuesday night.
Heading into Thursday’s action, McMahon had logged 233.1 innings at second base and 167 innings at third base this season.
With All-Star Game voting scheduled to begin one week from today (June 3), it will be interesting to see where McMahon’s name falls on the ballot. Ironically, McMahon wasn’t in the Opening Day starting lineup with Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers. McMahon’s first start of the season came the next day when he started at second base and then moved to third later in the game.
That day, by the way, he hit his first homer of the season, coming in the seventh inning off Trevor Bauer. He has added 12 others since that day, including in consecutive games in New York to start the four-game series with Mets.
Simply put, McMahon is having an All-Star season, at the plate and in the field.
Should McMahon be listed as a third baseman, he’ll find himself in competition once again with Arenado for playing time. However, McMahon has shown that he has come into his own in 2021, no matter where he plays on the infield.