Jack Mahoney says the last 24 hours have been a blur. The former all-star at Saint Viator High School, who just finished his junior year pitching for the South Carolina Gamecocks, was drafted early in the third round of the MLB draft. From there, his phone started to blow up with well-wishers.
“I’m so fortunate to get a really good offer and go in one of the top few rounds,” Mahoney said Tuesday. “It’s been such a cool experience. The Rockies are a great organization. I’m familiar with them and have sat in on meetings with them. It’s a great fit.”
Mahoney grew up in Algonquin, but midway through his freshman year at Saint Viator his family moved to Arlington Heights and it was a good thing. Even before school started, he threw himself into sports, going out for football, basketball and baseball.
“He was great at all three,” says his former football coach, Dave Archibald. “He was the starting quarterback until an ankle injury took him out early in his senior year.”
In fact, Archibald credits Mahoney’s ability to battle back over adversity with helping to shape him as a competitor. He points to Mahoney having to sit out the rest of football season before battling to return to the basketball court, only to have the season cut short by COVID. His senior year of baseball was completely eliminated by the pandemic. Still, Mahoney remained captain of all three sports and a leader his teammates all looked respected.
“He’s a tenacious competitor and just a fun young man to coach,” Archibald says. “No matter what sport he was playing, he wanted to give 100%.”
Much like his high school years, Mahoney faced adversity in his college baseball career. He had an All-American year his freshman season, but an injury forced him to have Tommy John surgery and miss all of the 2022 season. He returned this year and evolved into the team’s ace by the end of the season, as a big strikeout threat — with a 96-mile an hour fastball and power sinker — and solid control.
Mahoney’s baseball coach at Saint Viator, Mike Manno, said that Mahoney is the third of his players to be drafted, and the highest. Nick Skala ’08 was drafted in the 37th round by the Baltimore Orioles in 2011 and Brett Kay ‘09 was drafted in 2013 in the 20th round by the San Francisco Giants.
With Mahoney being drafted so high, Manno says the Rockies are making a huge investment in him.
“Jack’s gotten a taste of what it takes to play at the major league level,” Manno says. “He’s been playing in the toughest conference in the country, the SEC, and he came through with flying colors.”
Among all the people who congratulated Mahoney on Monday was Coach Archibald, who texted simply: “Keep smiling and keep climbing.”