Whiteville native MacKenzie Gore enters the 2018 MLB season in elite company as one of Baseball America’s top 30 prospects.
Gore, a left-handed pitcher selected by the San Diego Padres with the third overall pick in last year’s draft, debuted in the preseason list at No. 26.
Rated as the game’s best young southpaw, Gore posted a 1.27 ERA, 34 strikeouts and an 0.98 WHIP in his first 21 1/3 innings last season in the Arizona Rookie League. He is one of six players within the Padres organization to make the list.
During his prep career at Whiteville High School, the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder guided the Wolfpack to three state titles in four years last season. He finished his career with a 41-2 mark on the mound and a state record 0.35 ERA. He earned MVP honors in each state title win and was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2017.
Ronald Acuna, an outfielder within the Atlanta Braves organization, was listed as the top overall prospect followed by right-handed pitcher Shohei Ohtani and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The Braves have an MLB-best eight prospects on the list.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.