The rebuild has been paying off in spades for the San Diego Padres as MLB Pipeline unveiled their picks for the top 10 left-handed pitchers, and sitting atop of the list at number one was the Padres’ crown jewel of the 2017 Draft, MacKenzie Gore, while international-signee Adrian Morejon landed at number six on the list.
After posting numbers in high school that could only be reproduced in MLB The Show, Gore was drafted third overall by the Padres and was nothing short of impressive. He pitched in seven games and 21.1 innings at rookie ball, striking out 34 batters and walking a measly five, all while compiling a 1.27 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.
Gore employs a big leg kick and offers four pitches that can all be plus pitches in the future, with his best being a curveball which Pipeline grades as a 60 out of 80 and has light biting action. His fastball can sit at 94 and will only get faster as he ages and he also throws a hard slider and a changeup that can fall through the strike zone.
In an interview with the EVT’s Diego “Deegs” Solares, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America predicts that Gore could end up in Lake Elsinore by the end of the season and could see the majors by 2020, while also praising his four plus pitches and giving him a major league comparison of Cole Hamels.
Joining Gore on the list is Morejon at number six.
After being signed out of Cuba in 2016 for $11 million, Morejon earned himself an opportunity to pitch full season ball at Tri-City and, after a promotion, Fort Wayne. Morejon pitched a combined 3.86 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, striking out 58 batters and walking 16. Morejon comes equipped with a fastball that sits at 91-93 mph and a curveball, and spices it up with a knuckle-changeup and a standard changeup. As long as the young man continues to maintain his arm slot as he throws, he has the ceiling of a number 1 or number 2 starter.
When asked about his opinions on the two young men, prospect guru Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com is clearly high on them and says that Padres fans everywhere should be excited for these young southpaws as they are not “safe” lefties, but pitchers “who both have chance to be frontline starters” with tons of upside. He also said that Cal Quantrill and Michael Baez, two right-handed pitchers, just missed out on being named in the top ten right-handed pitchers list and are “in the 11-15 range” and would be included in the top 100.
While Gore and Morejon have been highlighted for their excellence so far, they are part of a wealth of pitching prospects that San Diego hasn’t seen in years. Expect to see these two young men at Petco Park as starting pitchers in the rotation as part of a new Padres team in the near future.