MacKenzie Gore was nearly unhittable in his senior season of high school baseball this spring. The North Carolina native posted a 11-0 record with a 0.19 ERA and 158 strikeouts, while allowing just 25 hits and five walks in 74 1/3 innings.
His performance has caused his name to soar up 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft boards. He’s gone from being a consensus first-round pick earlier this spring to arguably the top prep pitcher in the draft class and a near lock to go in the first five picks of the draft, which starts on June 12.
“It makes me a little nervous, but just got to play the waiting game,” said Gore about the draft. “Whatever happens, happens.”
A 6-foot-2, 180-pound lefty, Gore has a four-pitch mix, featuring a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and while he has two quality breaking pitches, his curveball is his best secondary offering and has emerged as his top outpitch.
One trait that Gore is known for is his unorthodox high leg kick, which creates deception and makes it difficult for opposing batters. He repeats his mechanics well and is a fierce competitor on the mound.
The 2017 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Gore said his maturity improved the most during his senior season.
“I learned when to show emotion and when not to,” Gore said. “I learned how to lead. I was the only senior this year and that’s the biggest thing I learned to do was lead.”
Committed to East Carolina University, Gore will likely skip college baseball and jump right into the professional ranks this summer. Gore is in line to receive a signing bonus around $6 million.
Read my first MLB Draft feature story on prep left-hander MacKenzie Gore here.
Find more MLB Draft coverage here.