Prospects On Deck: LHP – MacKenzie Gore – Padres
The San Diego Padres have a rising star in their minor system, as top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore (#4 prospect overall in the system) showed on Saturday that he is ready to have a big season in Triple A.
Gore was the third pick in Round 1 of the 2017 Amateur draft from Whiteville High School, out of Whiteville, NC. In his senior year in High School, he was 11-0, posting a 0.19 ERA and struck out 158 batters in 74.1 innings, while leading his team to its third straight State title in 4 years.
In his Rookie ball season in the Padres system, he was 0-1, with a 1.27 ERA in seven starts, while striking out 34 batters in 21.1 innings.
The Padres then sent Gore to their Class A Full club in 2018, and in 16 starts, he posted a 4.45 ERA, going 2-5, and striking out 74 batters in 60.2 innings.
The big jump in level from one season to the next, gave Gore the confidence he needed because in 2019 he shut down his opponents in Class A Advanced by going, 7-1, with a 1.02 ERA in 15 starts, while striking out 110 batters in 79.1 innings. He also had a short stint in Double A, going 2-1 in 5 games.
After the Minor league season was shut down in 2020, Gore came back in 2021 and between 4 levels, (Rookie, A+, AA and AAA), he was 1-3, with a 3.93 ERA in 12 starts which solidified that the year off did not make much of a dent into his repertoire.
In his 2022 debut in Triple A with the El Paso Chihuahuas on Saturday, he showcased his dominance as he threw five shutout innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts.
In the first inning, he struck out Josh H. Smith of the Round Rock Express swinging, induced a ground ball out to Leody Taveras and then struck out Zach Reks swinging to end the inning. In the second, the Express managed to put the ball in play, but it was another 1-2-3 inning for Gore as his defense made the plays in recording the outs.
The third inning saw Gore give up his first hit of the game, but he regrouped and retired the next three hitters on two groundball outs and a strike out. Taveras led off the 4th with a single off Gore, but Reks grounded into a double play and for the third time in the game Gore struck out the next batter to end the inning. The 5th inning was the icing on the cake for Gore as he struck out the side.
Notable: Gore was taken as the second top pitcher in the 2017 draft behind Reds Phenom Hunter Greene. Ironically Greene gets makes his MLB Debut Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.
Gore is not that far behind.