Colorado Rockies: How Ryan McMahon has progressed at the plate, listens to the game on the field

May 25, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon (24) and first baseman C.J. Cron (25) celebrate after both players scored runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 25, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon (24) and first baseman C.J. Cron (25) celebrate after both players scored runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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At around this time last season, Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon was really being considered for the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby in Denver, which was about six weeks away.

Entering play on May 28, 2021, McMahon was hitting .259/.305/.519 with 13 homers and 31 RBI, or a 162-game pace for 41 homers and 98 RBI. But after that, McMahon didn’t show as much power but saw his on-base percentage go up.

From May 29 through the end of the season, he only had 10 more homers with 55 RBI (a 16 home run and 89 RBI pace in 162 games) and a slash line of .251/.344/.410.

In 2022 and particularly in the last few weeks, McMahon has balanced those more and been one of the best bats for the Rockies offense during their recent struggles at the plate.

Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon has balanced his on-base percentage and power recently

From May 14 through Friday, Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon was hitting .267/.353/.444 in the 12 games that he played, despite the team going 4-8. He had two homers and eight RBI in that span with six walks (a 162-game average of 27 homers, 108 RBI, and 81 walks). His wRC+ in that span is 114, which is third-highest on the team in that span.

Overall, entering Saturday, he was hitting .255/.343/.401 with a wRC+ of 101, which would be the highest of his career.

During the team’s last series in Pittsburgh, Rox Pile caught up with McMahon on how he has become more comfortable at the plate and how he tries to balance everything throughout the season despite the season “always” being a “rollercoaster.”

"“I think it’s just getting more at-bats, getting more comfortable (at the plate),” McMahon told Rox Pile in an exclusive chat. “The season’s crazy. It’s always kind of going to be a rollercoaster. We always want to try to make this easy incline. It’s never that. It’s always all over the place. (I’m) just trying to go out there and do whatever my team needs me to do. The game will always tell you what you need to do in (each) situation.“Whatever the game is telling me to do, whether it’s a big swing or when nobody’s on base and just shortening up (and taking it the other way), I’ve just been trying to do that.”"

On Wednesday in Pittsburgh, the Rockies ended up losing to the Pirates 10-5 but in the 5th inning, it was 4-2 Rockies and McMahon had a big at-bat.

He had an 11-pitch at-bat and, after he fouled away numerous pitches, he ended up drawing a walk. The next batter was Randal Grichuk, who only had to see one pitch to drive an RBI single to center field.

After the game, Ryan McMahon spoke exclusively to Rox Pile about what that situation is like when he has been on the opposite side of that: hitting after a guy has battled through a long at-bat.

“I know for me personally, when I’m standing there (in the on-deck circle) and I see a guy go out there and battle in an at-bat, it just makes me want to get up there and do my job more,” McMahon said. “I think it’s more of a ‘pass the baton’ mentality for whoever gets up there to do the job.”

Rockies manager Bud Black told Rox Pile after Wednesday’s game about McMahon’s approach in the series and overall this season.

“Mac has had a good series,” Black said. “I think Mac, overall, has battled (at the plate). He’s swung at strikes, he’s taking balls, he’s fouled off tough pitches but we’re seeing a little bit of that from Mac … He’s making it hard on the pitcher, and I like the two-strike little base hit to the left side … Mac is doing his part.”

Despite the season being a “rollercoaster,” perhaps Ryan McMahon will be able to sustain the balance of getting on-base and power at the plate and be the bat that the Colorado Rockies so desperately need in the middle of their lineup.

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