The San Diego Padres selected MacKenzie Gore with their first round pick on Monday in the MLB Draft. Here’s a closer look at the left-hander.
It’s high school graduation season, which means a lot of excitement for a lot of families across the country. Young graduates are both reflective on their time in the public school system, but also excited for the next steps of their lives.
Quite possibly more excited than any 18-year-old though is San Diego Padres first round draft pick MacKenzie Gore. While he has just recently finished high school, the young player has one of the most positive outlooks of anyone selected in the draft.
At 6-2, 170 pounds, the left-handed pitcher still has some work to do on his body, but is already dominating competition and is poised to have effective mechanics which can benefit the major league club in the distant future.
Out of Whiteville, North Carolina, the southpaw has already developed four elite pitches including a fastball in the mid-90s. While many high school draft selections get noticed because of their overpowering stuff, Gore is unique because of both his command and his pitch variety which includes the ability to change speeds and create a significant amount of movement.
Gore’s high school statistics back up all of what scouts have to say about the 18-year-old. His 11-0 record helped lead his team to yet another North Carolina state title, as they have won three in the last four seasons. His 0.19 ERA in 174 and 1/3 innings is superhuman.
Quite possibly most impressive though is Gore’s 158 strikeouts compared to his five walks, a brilliant display of command.
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Despite these just being high school statistics, it is worth noting that Whiteville competes with the best of the best high school baseball programs in the state of North Carolina, winning state titles frequently. With this in mind, Gore’s dominance is no small feat. It proves his readiness for the next level and the promise a left-hander like him brings to a Padres organization in search of future arms to occupy the front end of their rotation.
For Preller and company, the pick was pretty much a no-brainer. Talent wise, Gore is elite. He fits what the Padres need organizationally, and he has no off field baggage to speak of. The Padres are confident in Gore’s ability to pan out due to his command, something which translates to all levels. They also see him as a low risk investment even at third overall due to the multiple pitches in his arsenal. Gore has not rode one pitch to this point, and therefore can’t be exposed easily.
Stay tuned for more draft coverage as we bring scouting reports from some of San Diego’s most notable picks from the second round on.