P2Daily: What MacKenzie Gore Can Teach Us

Prospect development can be a tricky thing. At first glance, the basis of it may seem simple — move up the minor league ladder until you make the majors.

It can be far from that, and the performance by MacKenzie Gore put on against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday shows that getting from point A to point B in professional baseball is rarely a straight line.

Gore was the third overall pick back in 2017, and quickly emerged as one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. On MLB Pipeline he made it as high as fifth going into 2020, and then sixth the following year.

The lefty struggled, however, and did so enough that he free-fell down the prospect rankings, with troubles with his delivery caused control and velocity issues. MLB Pipeline still had him as a top 100 prospect (86th) but both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus left him off all together.

Fast forward to Sunday, Gore pitched brilliantly, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits while walking three and striking out nine?

So, how does that affect the Pirates system?

We’ve seen some notable prospects struggle this year, notably Oneil Cruz and Travis Swaggerty at the beginning of the year, as well as 2021’s breakout player Matt Fraizer still trying to find his way in Altoona right now.

We’ve seen Nick Gonzales strike out nearly 40% of the time in April, and while he’s hitting a little better, there is still plenty of swing and miss in his game.

Po-Yu Chen is another name that was being hyped up at the beginning of the year, only for him to post an ERA of over five to this point in the season.

Baseball is about navigating through the ups and downs. If you can find some sort of consistency, to limit out the majority of those downs, you are going to be very successful in the game.

Even if some of these slumps turn into an outright bad season. One bad season isn’t going to make-or-break a potential 10+ year career in the majors, especially if they learn from their failures over the course of the year.

Failure can be the greatest teacher, in baseball and in life, if you let it. It shaped and molded Gore back into the player he once was, there shouldn’t be a reason that some of these players in the Pirates system can’t do the same.

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Pirates Links

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Daily Video Rundown: Jase Bowen, Ji-Hwan Bae, Travis Swaggerty

Pirates Discussion: Pirates 2, Padres 4

P2Daily Articles:

THIS WEEKEND ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

Prior to His Injury, Henry Davis Was Focusing on Managing a Pitching Staff

Greensboro Catchers Adjusting To Life After Henry Davis

Matt Gorski Has Been Getting Work at First Base This Year

THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

Williams: Jared Jones is a Familiar Story With Hopefully a Different Ending

Endy Rodriguez Gets Back on Track After Swing Issues in April

Matt Gorski: A More Consistent Swing and 17 Home Runs Later…

Prospect Roundtable: Which Greensboro Prospects Are Most Intriguing?

Maikol Escotto: “There’s a lot of thump in that bat”

Jacob Gonzalez: From Minor League Rule 5 to Minor League Video Game Numbers

Jack Carey: Stuff Playing More Than Numbers Showing

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NMR

No two arms in all of baseball had more buzz coming out of spring training than MCKenzie Gore and Mitch Keller.

The results since then are so painfully “baseball” that we’d see poetry in motion if not for perpetually being on the losing end.

1979andCounting

We’ve now seen the outstanding talent of both Hunter Greene who no-hit us, and now Gore, who 2-hit us. Greene was 2nd overall pick, Gore 3rd pick in same draft. When can we have nice toys like them? Hank projects the best for us; Gonzo is the guy who is experiencing Point A to Point B to Point C ups-and-downs that are of major concern.

jon6er

Latest example of why Pittsburgh is so bad at development and advancement is the refusal to pitch Yerry. What’s the downside, that he blows a lead or the game just like every reliever they have not named Bednar and yet the upside is you might have the bridge to Bednar.

Born4rf

I hate to say it but the best cure for a struggling pitcher is the Pirates lineup. It is a miracle we got two runs on the board yesterday. That said I look forward to Mitch Keller finding himself soon.

mikeschalke

I look forward to finding him on another team.

jon6er

Could have easily had a 7-0 record coming into this game, lol. If he pitched for the Buc’s he could easily be 1-5.

VTBucFan

Thanks Anthony for the encouraging report after yesterday’s tough loss. I’m certainly guilty of lack of patience on some of these guys. John Baker looks like a good man to have in guiding these guys on the long road to the majors. I couldn’t help but dream yesterday while watching the game that one day Anthony Solomento will be mowing down opposing hitters like Gore was to the Pirates Sunday.  😃 

1979andCounting

Good to have dreams…..but I’m looking for TOR arms and Roansy is the only one I see. Priester was supposed to be the guy, but he’s not shown the overwhelming talent yet. Solometo has a quirkly side-arm delivery, he’s going to try and get by on deception, I don’t see him in Greene or Gore’s class. It’s Ok if we get a back-end starter out of these guys, but I’m looking for aces and don’t see any in the rear view mirror. Maybe Burrows, who was an 11th rounder…..??

skliesen

As good as Gore has been, he may not be in the rotation next week. Snell and Cleavinger are both returning from IL soon, which will likely bump him to the pen.

tedwins

Not really the point of the article, of course, but I hear ya, nice problem to have if your SD…hope you just cursed there rotation depth, except Musgrove, have a dislike for Preller and want that team to collapse again, just me🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️😅😅

tedwins

P.S. ive been watching Snell start for Padres recently, have to check if he got hurt again per ur comment, thought he was already back🤔

tedwins

Excellent article and reminder that baseball, at all levels, is a marathon and not a sprint. We see it all the time that a few weeks of subpar performance leads to knee jerk negative evaluations from us fans. I see it on all levels, players of course, but even the outflow of love for a couple articles on Bakers approach, then key milb guys struggle and it is back to “here we go again” feedback…. It’s tough, we fans have had quite a bad product to follow, but as we seemingly get some real talent knocking on the door it is tough to show patience. For me, i would error on ensuring readiness, and grit my teeth thru the stop gaps we have to endure in MLB for just another 1-8 weeks, depending on the prospect, the important guys. But what do I know, besides my irrational high expectations on Bae I also thought Vanmeter looked interesting, still do🤷‍♂️, so ignore this post, of course🤣🤣🤣

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