Joe Mahoney entered 2010 as nothing more than a fringe first base prospect, but ended the year as one of the most talked about names in the Orioles’ organization. He’s always been known for having the highest vertical jump in the system despite standing a towering 6′ 6″. But 2010 was the year where he turned his potential and athletic ability into consistent performance.
Mahoney’s always had tons of raw power but 2010 was the first time he really put it on display. His height will always give him trouble with breaking balls and obviously gives him a larger strike zone than most. His athleticism still leaves him with a relatively smooth swing for a big man; balanced stats and puts the bat right on the ball.
First base is his primary position, but Mahoney has seen time in the outfield in order to increase his versatility. If he gets caught up with either Brandon Snyder or Tyler Townsend, he’ll have another spot on the field to play if they want to have two first basemen in the lineup.
There’s no doubt Mahoney deserves a spot on Norfolk’s roster, but with Brandon Snyder, Nolan Reimold and Josh Bell all capable of playing first, Mahoney could be forced to return to Bowie. Either way, a big season from Mahoney should shut down the doubters, who believe his 2010 season was a fluke, and maybe even earn him the label of a future starter.