Ryan McMahon is on fire. After a rough 2016 season, McMahon had a lot to prove. The Rockies may be having him repeat Double-A, but that might not last for long, as his nuclear-hot 65 plate appearances in 2017 could lead to a rapid promotion to Albuquerque.
Last night, McMahon had four hits, including a pair of doubles, as he led the Yard Goats to an 11-inning road victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 5-4. He is now hitting .414, with 11 of his 24 hits going for extra bases (6 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs). His .741 slugging percentage leads the Eastern League, and his 1.203 OPS ranks second.
Perhaps most importantly, McMahon has (so far) gotten his strikeout rate under control. Last year, he struck out in just over 30 percent of his plate appearances. This year, that rate is down to 16.9 percent, well above-average for the Eastern League. That McMahon has significantly improved his contact rate while also displaying elite power ability is extremely good news for his major league future.
Over in Albuquerque, top pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman’s night was a bit rough. He pitched 6 innings but surrendered six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk, with four strikeouts.
Through four starts, Hoffman’s Triple-A strikeout rate is down to 17.4 percent (from 24.4 percent last year), which is below average for a starting pitcher in the PCL. It’s still very early, and that rate should improve as the season goes on, but the fact that Hoffman has induced a whiff on only 7.4 percent of his pitches (down from 9.6 percent last year) is somewhat concerning. On the positive side, his walk rate has improved to 7.6 percent (from 10 percent last year), which is above-average for the PCL.
Jeff Hoffman (No. 2 PuRP): 6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Raimel Tapia (No. 4 PuRP): 1-for-4, 3B, RBI, SB
Jordan Patterson (No. 13 PuRP): 1-for-4, 2B
Ryan McMahon (No. 7 PuRP): 4-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Parker French (No. 26 PuRP): 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Dillon Thomas (Connor’s “My Dude”): 0-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, SB
Garrett Hampson (No 22 PuRP): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB, SB
Sam Hilliard: 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, CS
Brian Mundell (PuRP HM): 0-for-4, 2 K
Colton Welker (No. 19 PuRP): 1-for-4, 2B
Tyler Nevin (No. 23 PuRP): 0-for-3, R, BB
Jose Gomez (No. 30 PuRP): 0-for-4
Triple-A: Matt Flemer
Double-A: Sam Howard (No. 20 PuRP)
High-A: Trey Killian
Low-A: Erick Julio