Round One: Mariners select Emerson Hancock, RHP Georgia
What once seemed like a pipe dream now might be one of the more likely scenarios. Emerson Hancock, who entered the 2020 season as a potential 1.1 (round 1 pick 1) and is still the highest-rated prospect on the Sodo Mojo Big Board, is trending down on draft boards and is now one of the most mocked players heading to the Mariners.
To describe this as a steal would be an understatement as Hancock gives the Mariners something they don’t currently have: a potential ace. Hancock would jump into the number three spot in my prospect ranks, just behind Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez.
Hancock has three plus pitches and a good curveball as a fourth offering. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with arm-side run as well as a slider he can manipulate to act as two different pitches and an advanced feel for a changeup. He didn’t throw the curveball much at Georgia, but when he did, the pitch flashed plus with good shape.
Hancock throws plenty of strikes and has the build of an ace, standing at 6’4″, 215 lbs. Hancock has the best stuff in the class, but an inconsistent spring and some concerns about health may knock him out of the top five and into the waiting arms of the Seattle Mariners. Hancock is leaps and bounds ahead of Reid Detmers, another popular player being linked to the Mariners.
If Hancock does fall to six and is, in fact, signable, GM Jerry Dipoto and Scouting Director Scott Hunter shouldn’t waste any time running to the telephone to make this pick. Seattle has a large group of pitchers who have mid-rotation arm written all over them and Hancock could be the guy to top the rotation in two years’ time.