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The Bard’s Take: 2017 MLB Draft - MacKenzie Gore

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Profiling the best left-handed pitcher in this year’s draft.

Name: MacKenzie Gore

Age: 18 (February 24, 1999)

Height: 6’ 2”

Weight: 180 lbs.

Position: LHP

Affiliation: Whiteville HS (NC) committed to East Carolina Univ.

MacKenzie Gore represents the top prep southpaw in the 2017 draft.

Grades:

Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 |Overall: 55

The Scouting Report:

If not for the presence of Hunter Greene as a potential 1-1 candidate, Mackenzie Gore would be the best prep arm in the draft, not just the best prep southpaw. Gore has been under careful consideration since his junior year at Whiteville High School, a season in which he posted a mind-boggling 12-1 record with a 0.08 ERA (yes, that is right) and 174 strikeout in 83 1/3 innings. He put up those numbers when he was pitching 88-92, able to reach back for 94 mph on the fastball. This year, Gore has picked up more velocity on his fastball and now throws 90-94 with a feel for throwing it to both sides of the plate with control.

To go along with his fastball, Gore also features a slider, a curveball, and a change that all rank as above average or better for his age, with his curve rating as a true plus-pitch now with the others looking like they will be plus offerings in the future.

Mechanically, Gore features a very high leg kick. This aids him in deceiving hitters who are already looking at a pitcher with four advanced offerings and a solid feel for pitching. Despite the kick, Gore shows great body control and does not fall off the mound in his delivery, but finishes in a strong position to field his position. Additionally, Gore gets great extension in his delivery and shows no signs of late-inning or late-season fatigue. Some feel that Gore’s delivery could become an issue in the future should he lose flexibility, but that is projecting significantly into the future and taking a negative view on how his athleticism will mature. Currently, Gore’s delivery is low stress and easily repeatable. With his current level of refinement, he is expected to move through the minors much quicker than the typical prep prospect.

The Take:

The last time the Diamondbacks had a chance to take an impact lefty of this caliber, they passed on the opportunity to select Chris Sale. MacKenzie Gore is probably not the next Chris Sale, but he projects as a potential top-of-the-rotation arm with the probable floor of a back-of-the-rotation starter. The combination of Gore’s age and the likelihood that he advances quickly through the system means he could be pitching meaningful innings in the majors by the time he is 21. Other than Buskauskas, it seems unlikely that the Diamondbacks could possibly expect an arm as talented as Gore’s to be available at number seven. If he is available the time between the announced sixth pick from Oakland and Arizona selecting Gore should be about three seconds, the first two spent by Hazen and his people to make sure they aren’t dreaming.

Chances MacKenzie Gore is available at number seven: Poor, even with other teams going under slot.

Chances Gore signs if Arizona selects him with the seventh pick: Great