Looking back over the last three seasons for Mahoney, it is tough to share how far I've seen Joe come. If anyone out there had seen him in 2008, yoy would have thought 2 or 4 seasons, might reach AA if he gets lucky and then done. At the time he weighed about 260, was slow, and swung at everything. The bat showed some pop and the defense was good, so it wasn't a total loss. A late season injury put him in the dugout for about the final month. I saw the first glimmer at that time, as he always stood next to the coaches and asked questions. He was studying. The next season Mahoney showed up after losing over 40 lbs and was a new man. Stronger, faster you could see in his eyes that he had decided to maximize all his skills. His platee discipline was better, coupled with the speed at his size. I've never seen a 1B who could run like that (he stole 29 of 30 in the SAL that season). Only the power seemed to take a dip. When I saw him just after the promotion to Bowie in 2010, he looked bigger, now mixing the speed and bringing back the power. I think Joe continues to climb the prospect chart this season and could be ready to make the team as soon as next season.
I tell this story because I'm sure many folks never saw Mahoney before 2010, and don't realize the dedication to transform himself as a player he has been through. I know on another string, Don, I believe mentioned how small the difference is between an organizational player, a prospect and a MLB All Star. All these kids have talent and potential, to me, as a fan, what separates one from the other is the drive and desire they have to fufill their potential, and Mahoney has shown the drive to elevate himself from one level to the next through hard work. I have all the hope in the world he will continue to drive to the next level once again.