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Colorado Rockies prospect Ryan McMahon talks adjustments, pitching

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Third baseman Ryan McMahon has been excelling in the Rockies organization over the last two seasons.

Ryan McMahon poses with teammates for this article.
Ryan McMahon poses with teammates for this article.
Jen Mac Ramos

Though  just drafted in 2013 in second round, third base prospect Ryan McMahon has made his name known in the Rockies organization. Ranked seventh on our PuRPs list, McMahon has made an impact with the Modesto Nuts, the organization’s High-A affiliate.

In 57 games, McMahon has hit .311/.410/.522 with 30 RBI. When it comes to his approach at the plate, he doesn’t change much, whether he faces a lefty or a righty.

"I take my normal approach and wait for something I can hit," McMahon said.

McMahon noted the differences between high school pitching and minor league pitching, and how he’s adjusted as a hitter.

"I think it’s just maturity as a hitter," McMahon said. "Just seeing pitches more than in high school; you rarely see a good curveballs and good changeups from one guy once a week or something like that. Just seeing it more, I think, getting used to the pitching and just kinda growing up a little."

Between the California League and the South Atlantic League, with the Rockies’ A-ball affiliate being in Asheville, N.C, McMahon has seen an improvement in the pitching he faces.

"They’re not afraid to pitch you backwards," McMahon said. "They throw a lot more things that look like strikes that aren’t strikes. Basically, it just feels like a more mature game, I feel like, now. Pitchers have more feel going into it now, up and down as they please. In the lower leagues, it’s just kinda ‘hopefully throw it over the plate.’"

McMahon said he tries not to think of the differences in playing in a pitcher’s park versus a hitter’s park and takes the same approach regardless.

When it comes to his development as a third baseman, he has a routine set every day and every home game.

"I have my infield routine that I do every day," McMahon said. "I actually kinda stole it from Nolan Arenado."

He said he focuses on working agility and quickness at third base.

"During the season, you just wanna keep your angles fresh, make sure you’re taking the most efficient route to the ball, be able to get those speedsters out," McMahon said.

Though he has taken steps to become a better third baseman, he said he’s thought about being a pitcher when asked if he’s ever considered becoming a switch pitcher.

"Every time I get on the mound to throw something, the pitchers yell at me to get off because, I guess, my stuff doesn’t move," McMahon said. "I say it moves, but they say it doesn’t."

Will fans be seeing him coming out of the bullpen anytime soon?

"Hopefully not," McMahon said. "Hopefully the third base thing works."