After being selected with the third pick in last month’s MLB Draft, MacKenzie Gore kicked off his professional career yesterday, tossing two scoreless innings for one of the Padres’ Arizona League squads.
Gore wasn’t particularly crisp on his first couple of pitches and ended up walking the lead-off batter; however, he quickly found his groove in the subsequent at bat against fellow first rounder Nick Pratto, whom he struck out on a pitch down and away. Alex Kolodziej of Fanrag Sports captured the moment:
MacKenzie Gore's first strikeout as a pro. No chance. pic.twitter.com/A0oC3xuXAo
— Alex Kolodziej (@AKolodziejFRS) July 18, 2017
In the second inning, Gore allowed his first hit, a frustrating groundball towards the pitcher, and then proceeded to induce two more grounders for outs. Unfortunately, there was never an opportunity for a double play, so Esteury Ruiz, who notched that first hit, was able to advance all the way to third base with two outs remaining in the second. Yet, unfazed by the pressure, Gore struck out the next batter to end a solid debut without any damage.
Independent scout Chris Kusiolek raved about the performance and noted that Gore hit the mid 90’s with relative ease and appeared very athletic with that patented high leg delivery. Additionally, he provided some footage of the performance on twitter if you’re interested in taking a look below:
MacKenzie Gore vs. Royals pic.twitter.com/OJopIVTsEH
— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) July 18, 2017