GJ’s Ryan McMahon starts pro career off on right foot
The past two weeks has been a whirlwind for Ryan McMahon.
Since he was drafted in the second round by the Colorado Rockies two weeks ago, his life has changed.
Thursday night, his life got back to a sense of normalcy.
The 18-year-old from Santa Ana, Calif., made his professional debut with the Grand Junction Rockies in their 11-6 season-opening victory over the Ogden Raptors at Suplizio Field.
“I was so nervous, to start the game,” McMahon said. “Once I got that first hit, sure it wasn’t smashed, but I was so pumped. Everybody was raking and we got great pitching tonight, too. It was fun.”
McMahon was so excited to start his professional baseball career, he realized he didn’t pack everything.
“It’s been crazy,” McMahon said. “My head’s been going 100 miles per hour. It was nice to get out here, relax and play baseball.
“I showed up (to Grand Junction) with about half my stuff and my parents had to send it in. I sent them to the store to buy me shoes. I was extremely nervous. All the guys from last year, especially, knew how it was so it’s great.”
Ryan Garvey, Zach Jemiola and Correlle Prime are doing what they can to make the transition from high school to professional ball as easy as possible for the 2013 drafted players.
“It’s a big jump for them,” Ryan Garvey said. “Jemiola, Prime, we’re all leaders. We made them feel at home today. With Ryan picking me up with the guy on third, making plays. He’s getting it. That’s what we’re trying to do here. With these high schoolers, and being away from home, we’re trying to make them feel at home here.”
McMahon seems to already feel comfortable.
He took advantage of Ogden’s struggling starting pitcher, Scott Barlow, to get a base hit in his first at-bat.
“I knew I’d get fastballs because he was struggling to find the zone,” McMahon said. “I was looking for a fastball to hit up the middle. I took a couple big swings then shortened up with two strikes and put it between the shortstop and third baseman.”
McMahon walked in his next at-bat, then tripled home a run in the fourth. He was hitting 1.000 until the sixth inning, when he grounded out.
He finished 2 for 4 with one RBI, one run scored and one triple.
“I’ll progress,” McMahon said. “I’m still learning a lot getting my feet wet.”
Cole Norton made his professional debut as well. The Rockies’ 39th round pick was 0 for 2 with two walks and one run scored.