HT: 6-7 WT: 255 POS: 1B
Aberdeen Ironbirds - (65 G, 242 AB, .269/.330/.438)
After being drafted in the 7th round of the 2007 draft, Joe Mahoney had what could be described as a Tale of Two Seasons. It wasn't easy, considering that Aberdeen is in a short-season league to start with, but Mahoney performed much better in August than he had in June and July, hitting .318/.348/.561.
After launching 17 home runs in his junior season at the University of Richmond, Mahoney was primed to enter life as a professional baseball player. His stats back up what was obvious to thos who watched him- it took him a little bit of time to adjust to wooden bats.
Nevertheless, Director of Scouting Joe Jordan told ITW "Joe Mahoney has top of the scale raw power and he's making progress as a hitter, but again, it's in there, and that's what you got and you chase power. Power is hard to find. The guys that figure out how to hit the pitchers in the strike zone are going to be able to use their power. The guys that don't are going to hit one on occasion and it's not going to play."
Joe Mahoney is one of the thousands of players in the minor leagues working to be able to use their power. His advantage, obviously, is that his potential power is huge. The rest of his game lags behind; he's probably not a ~.300 hitter at higher levels and he'll have to tighten up his enormous strike zone against good breaking balls. He's also a below-average runner, though he is a smart baserunner and stole 16 bases in his junior season in college. He doesn't show any indication of needing to be platooned at higher levels.
Mahoney is already limited to first base for a reason- he's not especially athletic, though he doesn't embarrass himself out there. His large fram makes for a good target, but he needs to shore up his consistency on ground balls.
He did see very limited action in left field, but that was more of a way to work fellow first baseman Anthony Martinez into the lineup instead of any indication of future organizational plans.
The season ended too soon for Joe Mahoney, who made major strides in his first professional season. He will likely start 2008 in the offense-suppressing environment of low-A Delmarva, but he has major breakout potential. Mahoney is definitely capable of mashing his way to the major leagues, though he is likely a few years away.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com