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2021 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 58: McKinley Moore

This big arm seemingly has found big control — and that’s a tantalizing combo for the White Sox

McKinley Moore (far left), towers both literally and figuratively over most White Sox pitching prospects.
Kim Contreras/South Side Sox

McKinley Moore

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
225 pounds
Age: 22
SSS rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system: 8

McKinley Moore is another ranking based much more on potential than performance to date.

The performance part isn’t his fault, given he’s had just a half-season of pro ball after being drafted in the 14th round (No. 410 overall) out of Arkansas-Little Rock in 2019. Moore had a long taste of the Arizona Rookie League, where he filled some closer duties with three saves in 20 appearances. But with a 5.59 ERA, there were growing pains, particularly regarding his control (17 walks, 27 Ks).

That control actually was an improvement over his final year for the Trojans, when he dealt 23 walks against just 22 strikeouts.

Very clearly the White Sox were drafting off of potential with Moore, given his college record over three years was an 0-8 record, 8.03 ERA and 0.73 strikeouts per walk. And given his size (6´6´´!) and power (a fastball pushing 100 mph), who could blame the White Sox for the hunch?

Moore was promoted to Great Falls at the end of 2019, and was simply phenomenal in two games (three scoreless innings), with superb control (no walks, five Ks).

The tall righthander followed up on that success, seemingly, in Fall Instructional League at summer’s end in 2020, with the report from Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs being that his control was still in full force. Longenhagen also reports that Moore has gotten his fastball up to 98 mph.

Moore is still very young, and while the White Sox may have a diamond in him, expect a next-rung promotion to Kannapolis for the 2021 season, with an outside shot at Winston-Salem later in the summer if his lights-out closer work continues.