The state of North Carolina is producing first round talent across the board in 2017. A slew of those players will be selected within the first ten picks. One of those players is MacKenzie Gore, the best left-handed prep pitcher in the draft, and possibly the best overall pitcher.
MacKenzie Gore 2017 MLB Draft Profile
Gore is a 6’2″ 190-pound southpaw from Whiteville, North Carolina. Gore produced incredulous numbers in his junior season, allowing just one run in 83.1 innings with 174 strikeouts. His talent has advanced since his stellar junior year, resulting in his ascent towards the top of the draft board.
His all-around repertoire is the best among left-handed prep pitchers, and rivals that of the entire draft class. Some major league scouts actually prefer Gore to California prep pitcher Hunter Greene, the unanimous top player of the draft class. Gore is committed to play for East Carolina University next spring, but his exceptional progress from a junior to a senior could lead Gore to be playing Rookie ball this June.
Gore showcases everything teams look for in a high-school arm. His fastball sits between 90-94 MPH, and he can routinely locate it with accuracy. His secondary pitches—a curveball, slider, and change-up—are advanced for his age and all rank the best among prep pitchers in this draft class. He shows great command on all of his pitches and misses bats with them regularly. He brings great emotional maturity and shows instincts far beyond his age.
The only questions with Gore are in regards to his delivery. He has a high leg kick—Gore almost touches his knee to his chin—and a long stride. As he gets older, problems could arise with a delivery like his.
With that being said, Gore is an elite athlete. He repeats his delivery extremely well and he shows great balance and command through it, producing only three walks so far in his senior season. It could turn into a problem, but there should not be any risks in his delivery for the near future. Otherwise, Gore is as close to a perfect prospect as possible.
Sources: MLB Pipeline, SB Nation, Baseball America