Sunday, April 27 - Asheville 12, Augusta 2
I've been crushing on McMahon all weekend, and he delivered in the biggest way in the final game of the series Sunday. The third baseman hit an opposite-field grand slam off left-hander Christian Jones in the third inning after the GreenJackets intentionally walked Pat Valaika to get to him. It was the ultimate payback.
McMahon also had a two-run double in the eighth to total six RBI in the game. With two swings of the bat, McMahon drove in more runs than Augusta's lineup the past three games combined.
McMahon was drafted in the second round in 2013 out of Mater Dei High School in California, where he was also the starting quarterback. He turned down a baseball scholarship to Southern California to sign with the Rockies for $1.3 million. Colorado should be very happy with that decision.
McMahon has plus raw power that should easily play in-game, and it's already doing so at an alarming rate. He squares the ball at an excellent rate and has very good lift in his swing. The fact that he took a left-hander to the opposite field in one of the deepest parts of the second-toughest ballpark in the country is all you need to know about his in-game power ability. As I said, he squares the ball well and should hit for average to go with the power. He's athletic at third with solid range and a decent glove, and he has the arm for the left side. He won't win games with his speed, but that's really the only below-average tool I can find.
McMahon has all-star potential, in my opinion. He's going to continue mashing the South Atlantic League despite being only 19 years old. He's one of the most advanced teenage bats I've ever seen come through here.
This was my second go-round with Dahl after he tore his hamstring at Lake Olmstead last season. The first-rounder continues to show all five tools, including a bat that squares the ball at a tremendous rate, and a defensive profile that will make you drool. He has clear all-star potential, and he has the aptitude and baseball intelligence to make it happen.
You can tell Dahl is still working his way back at the plate after losing a year of development in 2013. He tended to settle for the opposite-field poke instead of driving his hips to the ball in this series, but he still made solid contact throughout the weekend. He isn't fooled by much at this level, and he should easily hit for average in the upper levels. His weakest tool might be power, but the barrel awareness will help it play up if he works on driving the ball.
Dahl ran a clear 4.1 to first in the series, and he flashed a plus arm in center. He has excellent range and an equally-impressive glove. The Rockies should be proud and excited to have this type of athlete in their system. He's a difference maker.
Tapia drew lots of praise entering this season, but the 20-year-old Dominican hasn't impacted games at the Class-A level yet. It's obviously early, but I could tell in this series why his numbers haven't been up to par.
Reports indicated Tapia plays with high energy and a sometimes violent swing with great bat speed. I saw an ability to square the ball up well, and he shows signs of good bat speed, but he played almost timid during this series. He swung at too much stuff away and was vulnerable to sequencing. I think it affected his bat speed, because it seemed to slow at times, and he only squared a couple balls in the series.
Tapia is a plus runner, and the body has huge projection. He's tall and long, and he's going to grow into a possible power threat. If he can adjust and square more pitches away, that power can play down the road. But it's not certain right now. And there might be other factors involved with this, but he didn't seem to have the energy that reports indicated. He took his time between innings and seemed to be going through the motions. But it's tough to judge someone's energy level by a couple games. I'd like to get another look at him later this summer.
Besides having a great name, Jiminian is a solid arm for 21 years old. He's a little more advanced than some his age, showing an ability to sequence and go to certain pitches later in the start. He's not a strikeout guy and probably never will be, but his ability to induce ground balls is off the charts based on a sinking fastball that sat 87-92 and touched 93.
Jiminian's secondaries lag, which is a big reason for the lack of strikeouts. His changeup is around 83, so it shows some separation, and it can tumble pretty well when he gets a feel for one. But it wasn't very often he had that feel. Jiminian's breaking ball was slurvy and inconsistent, and it didn't fool many Augusta batters. It shows potential as an average pitch, but that's really it at this point.
Notable Augusta lines:
Christian Jones: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 7 ground balls, 5 fly balls, 1 line drive, 9 swinging strikes, 88-91 fastball
Steven Messner: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 6 K
Leo Rojas: 1-2, 2B, BB
Randy Ortiz: 1-3, RBI
Notable Asheville lines:
Johendi Jiminian: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, ER, BB, K, 15 ground balls, 4 fly balls, 1 line drive, 5 swinging strikes, 87-92, touched 93 fastball
Ryan McMahon: 2-5, 2B, HR, 6 RBI
Pat Valaika: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
Raimel Tapia: 1-5, 2 RBI
Jose Briceno: 3-5
Jordan Patterson: 2-5, 2B