Which former Mariners' pitcher does Emerson Hancock remind fans of?

Emerson Hancock is a bit different than his current rotation mates, and is starting to remind us of a former well-loved Mariners' starting pitcher
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The Seattle Mariners have amassed one of the best starting rotations in Major League Baseball. The rotation features four players the organization drafted, and the one that was drafted with the highest overall draft pick came into the season as an injury fill in. That pitcher is former 6th overall pick Emerson Hancock, who has been serviceable for the Mariners through six starts this year. He does not get the headlines of the aces of the Mariners rotation, but he is rather similar to a former Mariner.

For many of the Mariners' rebuilding years under Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners had a fan-favorite starting pitcher who led their starting staff. He was good, but not great and is no longer with the organization. That pitcher is lefty Marco Gonzales. Looking back, Gonzales did have two strong years according to Fangraphs WAR model, but from 2018-2021, the soft tossing lefty had an ERA of 4.00 or just under that in every year except the shortened covid year.

Could Emerson Hancock be this team's Marco Gonzales?

Outside of those two years where Gonzales posted good WAR numbers, he was pretty average and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Not every starting pitcher in a rotation is going to be elite. Even though the Mariners currently have four pitchers who have been elite through the first month of the season, expecting that from all four guys is not realistic.

That brings us back to Emerson Hancock. Hancock's numbers through six starts in 2024 are not that far off of Gonzales's 2022 numbers. Both are worth exactly 0.0 WAR, Gonzales started 32 games and pitched over 180 innings, and Hancock has started six and pitched just over 30 innings. Both have ERA's of over 4.00, Gonzales at 4.13 and Hancock has a 4.75. Both pitchers have a FIP of around 5, Gonzales had a FIP of 5.05 and Hancock's is 4.97.

While there are some statistical similarities between the two pitchers, there are also stylistic similarities. Both do not throw very hard and both of them do not get a ton of strikeouts. It was a joke when Gonzales was here that he was not a sexy pitcher. Hancock is not a sexy pitcher either. Neither are going to light up a radar gun or throw a bunch of nasty pitches that get posted all over Pitching Ninja.

Both Hancock and Gonzales for the most part are number five starters. Gonzales proved to be able to take the ball every fifth day and give the Mariners a decent chance to win without losing the game for them in the first five innings. Hancock has done the same for the most part so far this season. The Mariners have four sexy pitchers who have been pitching extremely well lately and have made winning easier when they are pitching at an elite level.

This shows just how elite of a run the Mariners starting pitchers have been on, including Hancock. He has a limited sample size on his resume this season, and outside of a few bad starts he has been quite good.

Emerson Hancock is not a problem pitcher to have in the Mariners rotation. He is a fine number five starter who is average and will not drastically hurt the Mariners chances to win on a regular basis. Hopefully after a few more years in the big leagues, Hancock will learn how to get big leaguers out in better and more efficient ways and improve a little bit, just like Marco Gonzales did. Hancock is still just 25 years old and can improve with experience and help the Mariners back end of the rotation.