As we continue our 2020 Major League Baseball Draft Scouting Report series, today we take a dive into one of the top college pitchers in the class: Emerson Hancock. The right-handed pitcher is currently rated as the #4 prospect in the draft by Baseball America, Fangraphs, and MLB Pipeline.
The 2018 Season
After being selected in the 38th round of the 2017 draft by Arizona, Emerson Hancock chose to head to the University of Georgia to further his education and give college baseball a shot. As a freshman he was thrust directly into the rotation, making 15 starts for the Bulldogs and throwing 77.2 innings. He had some struggles, posting a 5.10 ERA while going 6-4. Hancock struck out 75 batters, but also allowed eight home runs and walked 34 of the hitters he faced.
The 2019 Season
It was the sophomore season for Emerson Hancock that really pushed him to the top of the draft boards for 2020. The big right-hander dominated during the season for Georgia. He made 14 starts on the season, going 8-3 with a 1.99 ERA. Across his 90.1 innings he allowed just 58 hits, walked just 18 batters, and he racked up 97 strikeouts. His WHIP of 0.84 was among the best in the nation. His stuff stepped forward, as did his execution and control of it. He did, however, sit out with some arm soreness during the summer.
The 2020 Season
Like everyone else, Emerson Hancock had his 2020 campaign cut short in March. He had made four starts for Georgia before the season was cancelled and he had gone 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA. He was more hittable in 2020, allowing 22 hits in 24.0 innings, but he walked just three batters and picked up 34 strikeouts against the 99 hitters that he had faced before the season ended.
Emerson Hancock College Stats
Emerson Hancock Video
Emerson Hancock Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 215 lbs.
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Position(s): Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
Emerson Hancock is probably the most polished of the pitchers in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft. He has a plus fastball, plus slider, above-average change up, and an average to slightly above-average curveball. Four quality pitches, and he throws plenty of strikes. It’s a very good place to start.
His fastball works in the 94-96 MPH range and reaches 99 MPH. And the pitch does that with some quality movement. Both the slider and change up work in the low 80’s, though the slider can get a little harder at times than that. His change up isn’t a pitch that he goes to often, but when he does it shows good separating action from the fastball.
Where the concern could be
There was a little bit of concern following the 2019 season as he missed time during the summer with the arm soreness that was mentioned above. But he came out this spring and alleviated concerns that anyone seemed to have had. It’s tough to see any concerns in what he brings to the table aside from the old “he throws a baseball for a living” side of things, which just by the nature of pitching, means there is some sort of injury risk.