Emerson Hancock and Raul Mondesi
Emerson Hancock: 21-year-old RHP. 31st ranked prospect in baseball.
Raul Mondesi: 13 years, One-time All-Star, Two Gold Gloves, .273/.331.485, 319 2B, 271 HR, 860 RBI, 909 Runs, 229 SB, oWAR 28.1, dWAR -3.4, WAR 29.5.
You start to see a theme when looking through baseball players from the ’90s. There were a lot of players who were valued for their offense as compared to their defense. If a guy could hit and throw, teams were going to value him. The media was too, and I think that is what happened with Raul Mondesi.
Don’t get me wrong, he still had a great career and the arm strength is what people saw, highlighted by 16 assists in 1995. But, that negative WAR stands out.
Emerson Hancock should have a good chance to earn ROY in 2022. Unless that is, the Mariners pull him up too early and he loses eligibility. Or, he loses it to his more-highly rated teammates like Julio Rodriguez, George Kirby, or Logan Gilbert.
If he makes it in 2022, as all indicators point to, he is going to have a full season of pitching to show what he can do. It’s going to be interesting to see how he performs in 2021, as it is going to be his first taste of pro ball. With just four starts in 2020 in college, it’s a bit better to look at his 2019 numbers, when he DOMINATED! 8-3 with a 1.99 ERA, an 0.841 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, and 1.8 BB/9.
Of course, I don’t expect him to do that in the majors. If he did, that would be Pedro-esque. High strikeouts and low walk rates are a great combo for a pitcher. After all, there is a reason that he is one of the best pitching prospects.
What about a solid pitcher comp so we can get an understanding of what to expect from Hancock, and predict from a ~30 WAR career. How about…
Jose Quintana. Just nine years so far, and a WAR of 25.7. A couple more seasons in the majors and he will equal or pass Mondesi. Could Hancock get there?
200 IP, 1.2 WHIP, 3.50 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9… gives you a WAR of around 4.0. This seems reasonable for Hancock, based on his college numbers, what could be a great and young defense behind him, and a park more suited to pitchers. I’d put the chances as pretty high that we see Hancock put up a better career than Mondesi. His ceiling could even be something in the range of Jon Lester’s 45.0 WAR.