By Paul Reindl (@PaulReindlSD)
Two weeks ago? High school graduation. Two days after that? Drafted #3 overall in the MLB draft. Today? Signing a contract worth $6.7 million. Man, talk about a pretty solid couple weeks.
“This is a dream come true.”
“Can’t wait to buy my first car.”
“I never thought this day would come.”
These are just a few examples of what you might expect an 18 year old to say, just a matter of minutes after signing his first professional contract.
And while those thoughts might have all been going through MacKenzie Gore’s mind, the words that came out of the Whiteville, NC teenager’s mouth? “I’m ready to get up here and win a World Series.”
You got to love the enthusiasm, but we can probably all agree it would be nothing short of a miracle to see Gore in a Padres uniform, let alone representing the Friars in a World Series.
No, the newest member of the Padres will be heading off to Arizona in the morning to begin his professional career in the Arizona Rookie League, General Manager AJ Preller announced at Gore’s introductory press conference on Saturday. Preller also mentioned that since Gore has not thrown in a game in several weeks, they will be getting him on a throwing program and hope to get him 20-30 innings of work this summer.
You hear the phrase “winning the press conference” every now and then when a new acquisition is introduced. When someone is brought in with high expectations, a lot of first impressions will be made in those few minutes in front of the microphone and members of the media for the very first time. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that would tell you Gore “lost the press conference” on Saturday.
Gore’s phrase of the day was “I just want to get up here and win a World Series”, saying multiple times that that is the ultimate goal and all that is on his mind. But when you hear him talk about how much he hates walking guys (the left-hander’s K/BB ratio in his HS career was an absurd 158/5, for what it’s worth), and add in that rather than buy himself some new toys, his answer was all about helping his family financially, you can’t help but think the Padres landed themselves a good egg at #3.
“It’s a very exciting day for us,” Director of Scouting, Mark Conner said as he introduced Gore. “As we went through the process, it truly showed us that this was the player we wanted to add to the San Diego Padres.”
For now, all we can do is trust that confidence of the Padres brass, as MacKenzie Gore now joins the likes of previous top draft picks Cal Quantrill and Eric Lauer and begins his journey to The Show.
+ Paul Reindl is a producer at The Mighty 1090 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org