clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2017 MLB Draft: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville, North Carolina

New, 4 comments

North Carolina high school lefty MacKenzie Gore has emerged as the top prep southpaw in the 2017 MLB Draft

MLB draft crush: MacKenzie Gore

"Frequently compared to Cole Hamels and Jon Lester" and not even kidding.

Posted by Minor League Ball on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

With the 2017 MLB Draft now one month away, we turn our focus back to draft profiles with a look at MacKenzie Gore, who has pushed his way towards the top of the class.

THE BASICS

MacKenzie Gore is a left-handed pitcher for Whiteville High school in Whiteville, North Carolina. He impressed scouts at showcases last summer and entered the ‘17 draft season as a potential first round pick. With an impressive spring that’s gone from “potential” to virtually certain: barring a last month injury disaster he’s a certain first-rounder with a very good chance to go in the top ten picks.

Gore is listed at 6-2, 180, a left-handed hitter and thrower born February 24, 1999. He is committed to East Carolina University for college ball. Assuming he goes where his talent warrants, Gore is considered signable.

STRENGTHS

In 2016 Gore showed an 88-92 MPH fastball. That’s kicked up a notch in 2017, now running at 90-94 with reported higher peaks. His secondary pitches are very advanced for a high schooler: he has a complete package with a curve, slider, and change-up at his disposal. All three are above-average for his age and everything plays up due to his command and emotional maturity. His pitching instincts are quite good and he won’t need as much time in the minors as the typical prep arm.

WEAKNESSES

He’s a high school pitcher, meaning injury risk is an unavoidable part of the package. His athleticism should help him stay healthy in theory, but some observers note long-term caution flags in his mechanics; David Rawnsley at Perfect Game noting that Gore’s mechanics may not age well “looking way into the far future” if he loses too much flexibility as he gets older.

OUTLOOK

Gore has been rumored as high as number three to the San Diego Padres and would also make a logical fit with the Atlanta Braves at number five. Even if those clubs pass it is unlikely that he’ll last past the first dozen selections. Long-term Gore projects as a number three starter and perhaps even a number two if everything maximizes. Most observers regard him as the top prep southpaw in the entire class and second only to Hunter Greene among all high school arms.

From Baseball America