With their first pick in the 2017 draft the Padres shot for the moon with the selection of Whiteville HS (NC) LHP MacKenzie Gore. As a highly touted southpaw Gore draws comparison to what seems like every high profile lefty starter in recent memory. I’ve seen Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner and even Clayton Kershaw. Comps are kinda silly, but when you are just getting familiar with a pick like this they help you see how much upside people project in the kid.
Gore has been on the first round radar for a while now. He was one of the top pitching prospects at the 2016 Perfect Game All American classic, a high school stars exhibition that was held at Petco Park. I attended that event last year and Gore was in the high 80s-low 90s with his fastball, had a slider he used as an out pitch and flashed a curveball and changeup. His mechanics were a bit messy, including a very high leg kick. The leg kick remains, but the reports are that he cleaned up those mechanics a lot and increased velocity on his fastball. Basically, he’s already turning his projections into reality.
The Padres are bringing global warming to our hearts with the selection of Gore.
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