Kolton Mahoney has been playing baseball his entire life, modeling his dad. But, Kolton chases what his dad came up short of–playing in the major leagues.
The last couple of years, Kolton has bounced between the Miami Marlins AA affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, and the AAA affiliate, the New Orleans Baby Cakes (now the Wichita Wind Surge).
As a catcher, he failed to make his high school JV team as a freshman. Changing to a pitcher his junior year, he narrowly made Varsity. But, with his strong arm, he became more comfortable and began getting national attention.
Growing up in Utah, baseball was a seasonal sport, making it difficult for Kolton to get recruited. After a successful summer at the Brigham Young University (BYU) baseball summer camp, he was invited back and eventually attended BYU for his collegiate career.
Kolton would throw a no-hitter on March 6th, 2014. As an All-American closer his freshman year, he was heavily recruited by MLB scouts. However, Kolton lost some attention after his two year absence, after helping his church community.
In his junior year, Kolton was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 23rd round of the 2014 MLB Amateur draft. However, Kolton did not sign with the Brewers and instead spent the summer playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
In 2015, Kolton was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 16th round of the Amateur draft. He would sign with the Yankees and play for the low A teams. In mid-2017, Kolton was unexpectedly released from the Yankees organization with a sub 2.00 ERA.. Less than 24 hours later, the Miami Marlins signed him and he began pitching in the Marlins organization.
Life as a minor leaguer can be very demanding. Most minor leaguers have to find an offseason job to help support their families. In addition, Kolton has “seen many great [baseball] players quit because they lose interest or patience.”
The secret to success is to first, “prove it to yourself that you can do it..one pitch won’t determine your career, relax!”, says Kolton. “ Another big part of my success is my very supportive wife and family, without them, I wouldn’t be here today…they motivate me. Lastly, “you have to find the balance between too cocky and not cocky enough.”
While in the minors, Kolton has met some of his idols including CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, and many Yankee legends.
Kolton was scheduled to start in AAA at the beginning of this year and hoped he could have gotten the chance to play in the majors. Whether it’s baseball or life , Kolton preaches “the secret to success is to prove it to yourself and always have fun; if you’re not having fun, what are you doing?”
Photo: Brian McLeod/MiLB.com