Mahoney Proving To Be Steady

STATEN ISLAND, NY - On July 16, 2015, Kolton Mahoney struck out the side in the first inning against the Staten Island Yankee’s rival, the Brooklyn Cyclones. That was the beginning of Mahoney’s first win as a Staten Island Yankee and the beginning of an impressive first professional season.

[Photo by Robert Pimpsner]

“He’s been lights out,” manager Pat Osborn said of the right-handed pitcher. “Its not like he got here and he struggled and had to get better. He’s been good since day one.”

Easing his way into the New York-Penn League has been an experience Mahoney said he’s enjoying and is working hard to take advantage of.

“I love it,” Mahoney said. “I love this field, this atmosphere. It’s a little bit more relaxed than college, which I like, but it’s also more disciplined and on your own. You have to work hard and really have that discipline to make it any higher.”

The 23-year-old was drafted back in 2014 as the Brewer’s 23rd pick after playing two years at Brigham Young University. However, he opted to stay one more year and as a junior was drafted by the New York in the 16th round. Mahoney took two seasons off to complete a religious mission.

But his performance would have you think he never missed a beat.

“He’s been one our most solid starters,” pitching coach Butch Henry said. “He goes out and gives us quality innings every time he pitches. He is not overpowering but has plus command with four pitches and he keeps us in the ball game.”

Mahoney throws a four-pitch mix; a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider. He’s 90-93 mph with his fastball and relies on his curve and slider for outs. But one thing is for sure, he can throw all of them in the zone.

“The thing that’s been working the best is throwing strikes,” Mahoney said. “I mean every one is good when they’re throwing strikes and keeping the ball down, so I’ve had success that way.”

Mahoney said that the bats he’s facing are the toughest acclimation to the professional level, but his pitching seems to adjusting just fine.

Prior to the season, Mahoney was known to be a pitch-to-contact kind of pitcher. However, he has struck out 31 guys in just 34 innings, a stat that may fluctuate as he moves up in the system.

“He’ll probably get strikeouts in the lower levels of the minor leagues,” Osborn said. “But once he gets to Double-A, Triple-A, and the big leagues, he’s going to pitch to contact because that’s the type of stuff he has.”

But whether the outs come from ground balls, pop flies, or strikeouts, he gets them. Mahoney has only allowed nine walks in the 31 innings he pitched, all with a WHIP of 1.37.

And with a push for playoffs, and the Staten Island Yankees in first place, pitchers like Mahoney are exactly what the team needs.

“I think if we were to start a playoff series, he would pitch game one for me,” Osborn said. “He’s steady, he’s good, he has good pitches, and he’s what you look for out of a starting pitcher.”

What’s in store for Mahoney after the season happens? It may be too early to predict, but he is definitely on the right path.

“I think time will tell,” Henry said. “I believe he’s got some upside and is capable of becoming a very good pitcher as he matures.”

But for now, Mahoney in concentrating on what is right ahead of him.

“I’m always trying to work hard and get better,” Mahoney said. “I’m always trying to figure out ways to improve. I don’t know what the next level has in store for me so I’m here right now and that’s what I’m focused on.”

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