When Joe Mahoney looks back on his 2010 season, bet he will fondly remember that month of July.
Not only did he get promoted from Frederick to Double-A Bowie on July 9th, but Mahoney took the Eastern League by storm and, for a few weeks, became the talk of the entire Orioles organization.
He went 3 for 3 with a homer in his first Bowie game, and, 14 games later was batting .453-6-14.
“It seemed like they were throwing everything down the middle and I wasn’t missing pitches. Sometimes when you struggle or get out of your plan, you miss those pitches you are sitting on.
“It was fun, good guys here and we were winning, a fun atmosphere,” Mahoney said.
Mahoney wound up batting .319-9-29 with 12 doubles and a .922 OPS in 52 Baysox games.
Counting his time in Frederick this year, in 124 games he hit .307-18-78 with 30 doubles.
But it wasn’t a season-long hot streak for him. In fact, in August, his bat slowed a bit and then he hit .258-2-11 over 25 games.
“It was up and down. I got hurt and sat a few games and my timing was thrown off a little.
“I was playing against new teams and they looked at the stats I’m sure. They are definitely trying different things on me. Some have worked and some haven’t and I’m just trying to stay with my approach,” Mahoney said during Bowie’s last homestand.
“They are starting to pitch me in a lot more. They were staying out and I was taking it the other way. But, it’s been a heckuva ride.”
Now, with Bowie’s season over, Mahoney will probably take a few weeks off before a busy October. He will get married in the middle of the month near his home in Saratoga, New York. A week later he heads to Venezuela for winter ball.
“It should be a big off season for me. My agent and John Stockstill were working hard to put me in the right situation.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things (about winter ball in Venezuela). There are some Triple-A and big league guys there. It will be a big step for me, but I’m ready for it. I wouldn’t agree to it if I didn’t think I would succeed.”
Two years ago, Mahoney lost lot of weight to improve his speed and conditioning. Last winter he add a few pounds of bulk which helped his power. This winter he just wants to maintain where he is currently at.
When the Orioles announce their minor league player of the year honor for 2010, many think Mahoney will be the winner.
“That would mean a lot, it would be a huge honor. I’ve worked hard this year and had a good year. But there are a lot of good guys in this organization that have set themselves apart stats wise and playing wise.”
By the way, it appears that Manny Machado will not be on the Frederick Keys playoff roster. He may be with the team and take part in workouts during their playoff series with Potomac that begins tomorrow, but he is not expected to be on the active roster and play in games.