WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The San Diego Padres drafted Whiteville High School pitcher Mackenzie Gore with the third overall pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft.
Gore has quickly ascended the prospect rankings and is now the top ranked pitching prospect in baseball. Gore is well aware of what the scouts are saying about his talent but doesn’t let it go to his head.
“It’s always been something I’ve been able to do,” said Gore. “I just ignore it. I appreciate what people say. But I have expectations for myself and I just tried to work and worry about that.”
One of those goals is to start the season in the Padres opening day rotation.
“There's a lot of work that needs to be done before the season starts,” said Gore. “Just kind of the thing I said last year- dominate the day. That's really something that I go by and if I keep doing that, good things will happen.”
And at 20 years old, he’s learned how to balance life and baseball.
“I think that time away from the game is very important,” said Gore. “Just being with the family, that's very important to be able to spend time with them. Get away from the game a little bit It helps a lot.”
Gore’s personal trainer Hudson Rose says that he’s one of the most gifted athletes he’s ever seen. But its just not his physical attributes that make him great.
“I think his intangibles, the way he treats people and the way he acts outside of his sport kind of separates him from a lot of his competition,” said Rose.
Gore will be at Padres camp on February 13 when pitchers and catchers report for spring training.