Position: Relief Pitcher Height: 6-4 Weight: 235
Born: 12/26/1982 Bats: Right Throws: Right
A 4th round choice out of Clemson University, Mahoney joins the organization as a huge project. A collegiate catcher for his first two seasons, Mahoney switched to the other end of the battery duo for his third season. As a backstop, Mahoney struggled mightily, forcing the position switch. Offensively, Collin's collegiate peak was a .266 batting average with 6 homeruns during his freshman campaign. From that point on, it was downhill fast. During his sophomore season, Mahoney allowed 25 of 26 base runners to steal successfully against him, and continued to struggle at the plate. The change to pitching may prove to be a wise move in the long run. Collin possesses a huge, power arm that has registered 100 mph in the past. The transition during his third year was not easy, as he struggled his way to a 6-plus ERA. Despite these difficulties, the potential was too much for the Tigers to ignore as they plucked him early, hoping to develop him into an elite relief pitcher.
Mahoney's book reads like nearly all of the long-shot, high powered pitching prospects that have come before him. He has the ability to hit 100 mph without any clue where it is going, and can throw consistently in the 93-95 range with slightly more of an understanding of where it will end up. It's a common report on hard throwing youngsters, but it is magnified by Collin's lack of experience on the mound. His fastball is complemented by an improving slider that could become a plus pitch with increased consistency and command. Mahoney uses his large, toned frame to his advantage, generating his velocity from his huge, thick legs. As he gains more control over his overpowering fastball, he be able to use the natural boring action to his advantage, riding it in on right-handers, breaking many bats in the process. Overuse is of little concern at this point, and as long as his delivery remains somewhat smooth, health should not be a major worry. There is a ton of raw ability evident with Mahoney, but he needs to learn how to pitch before he will be successful.
Performance Year Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP WHIP 2004
Mahoney has not had any significant injuries to this point.
Collin will likely be handed the closers role with West Michigan this season, and the organization will look for him to improve his command and general effectiveness. If Mahoney can harness his power arsenal, and gain consistent break on his slider, he could move quickly through the system as an effective, high-leverage reliever. The more likely scenario involves Mahoney struggling to gain command, experiencing only moderate success at each stop. It is not an easy process to learn how to pitch at the professional level, and even harder for players who have yet to learn how to control their "stuff." Collin is a long shot to make it to Detroit, and even if he does, it is likely to take significant time. Don't look for Mahoney to move much quicker than one level per season, but keep an eye on him to see if he can forge himself into the closer the Tigers hope he can be.