Padres' Gore promoted to Double-A

Top pitching prospect joining Amarillo after posting 1.02 ERA

MacKenzie Gore has struck out 218 batters over 161 1/3 innings during his Minor League career. (Jerry Espinoza/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 9, 2019 6:29 PM

The game's top left-handed pitching prospect is headed to the Texas League.

Fresh off his appearance in the Futures Game, Padres lefty MacKenzie Gore has been promoted to Double-A Amarillo, the Sod Poodles announced Tuesday.

Tweet from @sodpoodles: WELCOME TO AMARILLO, @Mgore181LHP MacKenzie Gore, @Padres No. 1 and MLB's No. 3 rated prospect who recently started for the National League team in MLB's 2019 Futures Game, has been promoted to Double-A from High-A @Storm_Baseball pic.twitter.com/HeI2IHIDNd

The 20-year-old southpaw has been one of the Minors' most dominant starters this season, despite spending it exclusively in the hitter-friendly California League with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. Among the 674 pitchers who've thrown at least 50 innings, Gore ranks second in four different categories with his 1.02 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, .135 average-against and 38.2 percent strikeout rate through 79 1/3 frames. Only one other qualified California League pitcher has an ERA below 3.29 this season (Visalia's Josh Green, 1.88), and Gore's 5.5 K/BB ratio also ranks fourth among the circuit's qualifiers. 

Gore allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his 15 outings with the Storm. He finished up with back-to-back scoreless outings, totaling 13 2/3 innings during which he struck out 18 and allowed six hits and four walks. His seven-inning outing on July 2 at Rancho Cucamonga was the longest of his career. Gore also pitched a scoreless inning for the National League in Sunday's Futures Game in Cleveland, during which he walked one but otherwise didn't allow another American League batter to reach base.

"It's been awesome," he told MLB Network of his Futures Game experience. "The hard work has paid off. I am in a good spot right now and I need to keep working."

Video: Storm's Gore strikes out sixth

Taken third overall by the Padres in the 2017 Draft out of a North Carolina high school, Gore has risen to the No. 3 spot in MLB.com's prospect rankings, behind only Rays shortstop Wander Franco and Tigers right-hander Casey Mize. Using a unique delivery that features a high leg kick, the 6-foot-3 hurler draws raves for a four-pitch mix that includes two plus offerings in his low-to-mid-90s fastball and curveball and two above-average ones in his slider and changeup. The arsenal plays up thanks to his above-average control -- he walked just 20 in 79 1/3 innings for Lake Elsinore.

2019 MiLB include

Gore joins a loaded Amarillo squad that won the Texas League South Division first-half title, punching a ticket to the playoffs in the club's inaugural season. Along with Gore, the Sod Poodles boast No. 4 Padres prospect (and fellow Futures Gamer) Adrian Morejon, No. 5 Michel Baez, No. 9 Hudson Potts, No. 11 Buddy Reed, No. 17 Edward Olivares, No. 18 Andres Munoz, No. 21 Owen Miller and No. 29 Ronald Bolanos

Gore will join Morejon and Munoz as the two pitchers to appear in the Texas League during their age-20 seasons.

In another move, the Padres promoted infielder Xavier Edwards, their eighth-ranked prospect, from Class A Fort Wayne to Lake Elsinore. The 19-year-old was leading the Midwest League in batting (.336) and hits (106) and ranked third in on-base percentage (.392), fourth in stolen bases (20) and seventh in total bases (127). He was selected 38th overall in last year's Draft.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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