Welcome to the 2017 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at the in-season contributions of every player to don the purple this past season. The goal wasn’t and isn’t to quibble with order. Instead, it’s to get a snapshot of a player along with a look forward. For that reason, we simply sorted by Baseball-Reference’s Wins Above Replacement (rWAR) and will start at the bottom and end up at the top.
No. 31 Ryan McMahon (-0.1 rWAR)
DENVER — Colorado Rockies prospect Ryan McMahon accumulated just under six weeks of MLB service time in 2017, getting his first 19 at bats in a Rockies uniform and a valuable learning experience.
“Just watching the older guys go through their daily routines and how they carry themselves, how important each pitch is. I’m learning a lot and just trying to roll with it,” McMahon said in September.
McMahon joined the Rockies on August 11, making his big league debut the next night in Miami, flying out in an eighth-inning pinch hitting appearance. He made his first career start on August 13 against the Marlins, going 1-for-3 with a walk in a Rockies loss. He stayed with the Rockies for a week, getting his first extra-base hit, a double, and RBI in an August 17 loss to the Braves at Coors Field before returning to Triple-A Albuquerque the next day.
With rosters expanded, McMahon re-joined the Rockies for the entirety of September, but he got just 13 plate appearances in 13 games with his one September start coming against Arizona on September 3. In his 24 big league plate appearances in 2017, McMahon was 3-for-19 with the lone double and RBI, walking five times and striking out five times.
Despite the lack of playing time, Rockies manager Bud Black said McMahon’s pennant race experience will be valuable for him in the long run.
“I think it’s great experience to see these types of games and the intensity that this month can bring,” Black said.
McMahon concurred with his manager, saying he used the opportunity to learn from the veterans on the Rockies roster.
“I try to pick everybody’s brains,” McMahon said. “John Lucroy’s been cool to me, Charlie Blackmon’s helped out a lot.”
The 22-year-old was one of several Rockies prospects that joined the big league roster for the pennant race in September, something Black said plays into the team’s plans for them down the road.
“Hopefully in coming years, they’ll be part of this type of September as regular players,” Black said.
As for McMahon, he said he has already seen progress from his first day in the majors from a preparedness standpoint.
“I think I’ll be a little more ready, won’t be as nervous,” McMahon said. “The first week up here I was, not terrified, but I was definitely nervous. But you take the nerves, get used to seeing the ball in a big stadium and get rolling.”