San Diego Padres top ten prospects for 2020

AMARILLO, TEXAS - AUGUST 02: Pitcher MacKenzie Gore #13 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles walks off the mound between innings against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at HODGETOWN Stadium on August 02, 2019 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
AMARILLO, TEXAS - AUGUST 02: Pitcher MacKenzie Gore #13 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles walks off the mound between innings against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at HODGETOWN Stadium on August 02, 2019 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

1. MacKenzie Gore

Minors (A+, AA): 101 innings, 9-2 record, 1.69 ERA, 0.832 WHiP, 28 walks, 135 strikeouts

A consensus top 30 prospect for each of the past two seasons, MacKenzie Gore is now in the conversation as one of the top prospects in the game.

Selected by the San Diego Padres with the third overall selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, Gore quickly made his presence felt in the minors. The Gatorade National Player of the Year, he dominated from the beginning, although he had issues with his fingernails and blisters over his first two professional seasons.

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When he is on, there is no questioning Gore’s pure stuff. His fastball easily sits in the mid 90s, and has been clocked at up to 97 MPH. His curve may be his best secondary offering, as it has plenty of movement and works as a true strikeout pitch. He also throws a hard slider that sits in the low 80s, which should improve as his blister issues get further behind him. Gore rounds out his arsenal with a tumbling changeup that drops in the zone, and flashes the potential to be an above average offering. He has an excellent feel for his arsenal, and can throw any of his pitches for a strike regardless of the count.

Those blister issues are the biggest question mark. If he proves to be past those problems, Gore has the ceiling of a true top of the rotation ace, the type of pitcher that every team dreams of. At the very least, he is a solid middle of the rotation starter, with the potential to be far more when healthy.

Next. Shopping Hedges just part of the plan. dark

The San Diego Padres have an abundance of riches in the minors. MacKenzie Gore is just the latest jewel in a loaded system.