Cougar pitcher Kolton Mahoney drafted by NY Yankees

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Mark A. Philbrick
Kolton Mahoney pitches against Portland. Mahoney led the Cougars with 91 strikeouts this season. (Mark Philbrick)

The New York Yankees have drafted junior BYU pitcher Kolton Mahoney in the 16th round of the 2015 MLB draft. This marks the second time Mahoney has been drafted, the first time being in the 2014 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers in round 23.

BYU baseball coach Mike Littlewood is grateful for Mahoney’s contribution to the program and excited to see him advance through the professional ranks.

“The entire Cougar baseball family is happy for Kolton and his family. He’s worked hard every single day since returning home from his mission, and I really believe Kolton’s best days are ahead of him,” Littlewood said. “The Yankee organization is getting a tremendous person and a player who has big-league-type stuff on the mound. Once Kolton puts everything together, the sky will be the limit for him. We wish him the best as he begins his professional career.”

Mahoney led the Cougars in 2015 with 91 strikeouts in 85.1 innings played. He has a 94 mph fastball and “good depth” on his curveball, according to Littlewood. The Cougars relied heavily on Mahoney this season to set the tone early in every three-game series.

“I’ve pitched the first game of every series,” Mahoney said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a weight. I love the pressure. I thrive off of those things.”

Mahoney’s biggest strength is his ability to remain calm and focused under pressure. He helped pull BYU out of many tough spots this season, and Littlewood attributes his success to his mental toughness.

“He’s mentally strong. He’ll go out there, and you don’t know if he’s up 10 runs, down 10 runs or tied. In pro ball, the even-keelness is going to help him,” Littlewood said.

Mahoney will sign a contract with the Yankees and report to training camp in Tampa, Florida, to begin his professional career.

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