28. Jack Mahoney (99 points, 14 ballots)
Mahoney was Colorado’s third rounder in 2023 out of South Carolina, going 77th overall and signing for a slightly below slot bonus of $925k. The 22-year-old 6’3” righty dabbled with two-way playing in college but was mostly a pitcher. The Illinois native pitched very well as a freshman in 2021 (1.62 ERA in 33 1⁄3 IP) but needed Tommy John surgery mid-way through that campaign and missed all of 2022 on the mound as well — though he did swat two homers in 19 PA as a DH.
Back on the mound in 2023, Mahoney was worse at run prevention (4.16 ERA in a tough SEC) but his stuff had come back well after the surgery and he threw 84 1⁄3 innings across 17 starts with a 9.0 K/9 rate, and 3.1 BB/9 rate. After signing with the Rockies, Mahoney made two appearances with Colorado’s complex team, allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts in two innings.
Here is video of one of Mahoney’s 2023 starts with South Carolina courtesy of Prospects Live:
Mahoney’s fastball velocity has returned since his elbow reconstruction, as he’s working at 92-95 mph and touching 97 with tailing action and carry. His mid-80s slider lacks reliability yet shows signs of becoming a solid pitch with horizontal and vertical break at its best. His changeup has similar velocity and inconsistency but has some interesting fade when it’s on.
A quality athlete who was also a star quarterback in high school, Mahoney repeats his delivery well and throws strikes. He doesn’t miss as many bats as his pure stuff suggests he should because his command of the fastball and control of secondary pitches are still works in progress. The consensus is he’ll get better with more experience and could develop into a mid-rotation starter.
Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs slots Mahoney 28th in the system with a 40 FV grade:
[Mahoney] held 92-94 and touched 96-97 across 16 starts as a junior. His fastball tails, and he commands a short, mid-80s slider sitting 84-86 mph and has arm-side changeup feel. His secondaries aren’t all that nasty, but Mahoney’s feel for location is advanced considering his lack of college reps. There’s a backend starter projection here, with a non-zero chance he’s scratching the surface of more.
Keith Law of the Athletic discussed Mahoney in his 2023 post-draft team evaluations:
[Mahoney is] 92-94 with a plus changeup and 45 slider at best, with some two-seam life to the fastball. It doesn’t miss bats in the zone, generating groundball contact instead but sometimes just plain hard contact. He’s a strikethrower but it’s control over command.
I ranked Mahoney 24th on my PuRPs ballot as a 40 FV player because of the athleticism, draft pedigree, and starter projection. He’ll start his first full season in A-ball in 2024, possibly in Low-A Fresno if the Rockies want to ease him into pro ball post surgery a bit more, but could rise through the system quickly.