MacKenzie Gore, one of the best and most hyped pitching prospects of the last few seasons, will be called up to make his MLB debut for the San Diego Padres on Friday, manager Bob Melvin announced. Gore will start in place of Blake Snell, who is expected to be placed on the injured list with a groin issue.”I’m just throwing a bullpen, staying ready,” Gore told MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell earlier this week, when he was added to the club’s road trip taxi squad. “I don’t really know anything else … We’ll see how the next couple days play out, see what happens. But it means a lot. I’m just happy to be here.” Gore, 23, was the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft, and was arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball heading into the 2020 season. His mechanics fell apart at the alternate site that year, then he struggled so much in Triple-A last season (17 runs and 13 walks in 20 innings) that he was sent down to rookie ball to work on his mechanics.This spring Gore was impressive, striking out 16 with only three walks allowed in 12 Cactus League innings. He struck out seven and walked zero in five scoreless innings in his Triple-A start last week. “The mechanics are better, which is going to bring more confidence. I just feel comfortable on the mound,” Gore told Cassavell. Because he struggled so much the last two years, Gore fell out of several top 100 prospects lists this offseason, though MLB.com still ranks him the No. 85 prospect in the game. Here’s a snippet of their scouting report:When everything is clicking, it’s easy to see why Gore has been so highly regarded. The lefty has good life on his 92-96 mph fastball and complements it with a mid-80s slider and an above-average curveball. Gore also throws a plus changeup with late sink in the low 80s. He’s shown an ability to pound the strike zone and command all four of his pitches, but that command wavered as he lost his mechanics over the past two seasons. Regaining and further developing that consistency will be key to his future.Thanks in part to new trade addition Sean Manaea, Padres starters have a 3.63 ERA coming into Thursday, the 11th best in MLB. That’s even after Yu Darvish got blasted for nine runs in 1 2/3 innings earlier this week. Righty Mike Clevinger has yet to pitch this year due to knee soreness, so San Diego can look forward to him joining the rotation at some point. The Padres play their home opener at Petco Park against the defending World Series champion Braves on Thursday night. Gore will start the club’s second home game Friday. San Diego is 4-3 in the early going this season.