The Yankees minor league system is known to be heavy on the pitching side. Using smart trades, solid draft choices and numerous international signees, the Yankees have built a strong pipeline of arms coming through the system. This year’s draft is being billed as one of the best pitching drafts in recent memory. If the Yankees choose to go this route, one of the names that they may look to is Chris McMahon from the University of Miami.
After showing promise but not being able to fully put it together in this first couple of seasons at Miami, McMahon was lights out in 2020 before the season ended due to the global pandemic. Through four starts McMahon had a 1.05 ERA, with 38 strikeouts in just 25.2 innings pitched. That includes a six inning, nine strikeout, one run performance against the number two team in the nation, the University of Florida.
The lights out performance to start the college season was built off his success over the summer pitching for Team USA’s Collegiate National Team. Playing against international competition over the summer, McMahon led the team in strikeouts and impressed evaluators along the way.
A serious draft prospect coming out high school in West Chester, PA, he was a top-100 draft prospect according to multiple rankings in 2017. McMahon was drafted late in the draft by the Braves, and decided to go to college to improve his draft stock. In a season with a shortened window to scout a player the Yankees probably have familiarity with McMahon dating back to 2017 — a year when they drafted heavily on the pitching side.
The 6-foot-2, 205 pound righty has seen his velocity rise several mph during his time at Miami, and he routinely sits in the 95-96 mph range while occasionally touching 98mph. McMahon’s fastball plays up as he generates high spin rates, and get the riding action that generates swings and misses.
Scouts are looking to see more consistency from his off speed pitches, where he features a solid changeup as well as a pitch that sometimes morphs between a curveball and a slider. McMahon records some high spin rates on his breaking pitches as well, something that is loved by the Yankees pitching team.
McMahon has also introduced a cutter into his arsenal recently. While the pitch does not sound like a finished product, it will give him another tool for pitching coaches to refine as he progresses through his professional career.
Based on the rankings McMahon stands a good chance of being available when the Yankees pick 29th overall. He is currently ranked as the 29th best draft prospect by MLB Pipeline and 30th by Baseball America.
The Yankees system is loaded with solid pitching prospects, but many of the best have already reached the High-A level which is a level above where college pitchers generally enter the minor league system. McMahon would instantly be right alongside Yoendrys Gomez as the most exciting arm in the system at the Low-A or Short-Season A Level.
If the Yankees are looking for pitching on draft day, then Chris McMahon is an outstanding candidate. The strong armed rightly looked good over the summer, and then was impressive in another short sample early in the college season. The 2020 draft is heavy on pitching, and McMahon could be the guy if the Yankees go this route.