Exclusive: Mckinley Moore’s Journey to the White Soxby Jamie Gatlin January 8, 2022 0 comments
Over the last few years, the Chicago White Sox have been a team on the rise. Due to their young talent, they have made two straight playoff appearances. One prospect who could join that group in the near future is Mckinley Moore. The Houston native was drafted by Chicago in 2019 and is currently their 25th best prospect. While baseball is currently in a lockout, the White Sox have an intriguing prospect in Moore.
Before joining the White Sox, Moore posted a 7.95 ERA in 43 games in college. At the University of Arkansas Little Rock, the 23-year-old struck out 47 batters in 48.2 innings of work. In 2019 he set his sights on the MLB and had an unforgettable draft day.
” Draft Day brought a bunch of excitement,” said Moore. ” Leading up to it, I was very nervous and excited. It was a lot of fun, and I spent it at the house with my family. It was one of those things where I knew I would be drafted and just had to trust the process, but it all worked out. ”
In his first year of pro ball, Mckinley had solid results. The 2019 draftee posted a 4.84 ERA in 22 appearances while striking out 32 batters. Even though Moore walked 17 batters, he did not allow a home run in 22.1 innings of work. As the former 410th overall pick had to make adjustments, he found success with the White Sox.
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” I think it was just my body finally growing into where I was at,” said Moore. ” I don’t know what happened. My college season wasn’t the best, and I got to pro ball and was like, hey, this is what I’ve struggled with, let’s see what we can do. I went three up and three down in my first outing, and I had never seen that before. That started building my confidence, and the only adjustment I made was simplifying my delivery and getting back to the basics.”
Expectations for Moore entering 2022 and beyond
As Moore’s confidence grew, he continued to show positive signs. Between two levels in 2021, he posted a 4.20 ERA. His control improved against more advanced hitters, he continued to post a high strikeout rate. With an increased workload, he showed why the White Sox hold the former 14th round pick in high regard. As a result, Moore got his first taste of the Arizona Fall League this year.
” It was a great experience, and I loved every second of it,” said Moore. ” I got to play with guys who have been in the big leagues and that are on the 40-man roster. Every chance I could get, I talked to them and asked for any advice that they could offer. It was a cool experience. ”
While the talented right-hander is not projected to make his MLB debut until 2023, his future is bright. He has a fastball that tops out in the high nineties and a slider that can be a plus pitch. When the 2022 season does begin, Moore will be looking to improve his consistency as he moves closer to the majors.
” I’m looking to improve the command of all three of my pitches,” said Moore. “I’m working on a curveball right now but being able to throw the ball where I want it and limit the mistakes that I give the hitter is my main focus.”
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