San Diego Padres @Padres
With the third overall selection in the 2017 #MLBDraft, the #Padres select LHP MacKenzie Gore from Whiteville High School! https://t.co/CJ51Fa5uEJ2017-6-12 23:29:11
The Whiteville, North Carolina, pitcher has had a dominant high school career. Per MLB.com, he posted a 0.08 ERA with 174 strikeouts in 83.1 innings as a junior and somehow improved before his senior year.
"This year, I gained about 15 pounds and got a lot stronger," Gore said, per Jim Halley of USA Today. "This spring, I've been able to throw all my pitches for strikes, hit my spots with my fastball more consistently and throw off-speed any time in the count and have a better feeling for all of them."
Here's the reaction from social media after the Padres nabbed Gore:
Christopher Crawford @Crawford_MILB
MacKenzie Gore a great pick for the Padres. Number two player on my board. A ton to like.2017-6-12 23:23:45
AJ Cassavell @AJCassavell
The Padres have selected high-school lefty Mackenzie Gore. Insane numbers this season. 0.22 ERA, 132 Ks. Could be front-end rotation piece.2017-6-12 23:29:10
John Manuel @johnmanuelba
Here's 20 seconds of MacKenzie Gore in the bullpen pregame. https://t.co/VCZjfLLFiB2017-6-3 00:03:26
At 6'2" with a fastball that reaches the mid-90s, a solid curveball and a developing repertoire of other pitches, the left-hander has nearly as much upside as anyone in the class.
His big leg kick on his windup also adds deception to his pitches. If he can continue to improve his control, Gore could move quickly through the minor league system.
Although he committed to East Carolina in 2015, the pitcher is not likely to pass on the opportunity to sign as a professional.
There is always risk in taking a pitcher at his age, but Gore's athleticism and pure stuff give him a relatively high floor.
The Padres have built one of Major League Baseball's most exciting farm systems with pitching talent like Anderson Espinoza, Cal Quantrill and Adrian Morejon on the way to San Diego. Gore will make San Diego's pitching depth even better.