Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Emerson Hancock Available at Seven?
The Major League Baseball Draft is less than three weeks away. Could the Pittsburgh Pirates end up with one of the top pitching prospects?
If you have been following along with our overage of the Pittsburgh Pirates upcoming draft, then you know that the team is focusing on college players. However, even more specifically, Ben Cherington is looking for college hitters.
Still, it is hard to predict what the Pittsburgh Pirates will do with the seventh overall pick. When the draft kicks off on June 10th not everything will go exactly how it’s being reported. With that being said, Baseball America is predicting a player to slide in the draft that would be considered rather surprising.
Yesterday, Baseball America posted their most recent Mock Draft (5.0). Unsurprisingly, they had the usual top three prospects being selected in Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin, and Asa Lacy. However, they do have Georgia Bulldog right-handed starter Emerson Hancock slipping outside of the top five. They actually mocked the SEC product to the Pittsburgh Pirates at pick number seven. Here is what Baseball America had to say on their Pittsburgh Pirates mock:
"Pittsburgh remains something of a wild card. That could be due how the board diverges a bit around this pick or because the Pirates are keeping things close to the vest—or both. In this scenario, we have them scooping up Hancock and ending a bit of a mini slide for the No. 4 player in the class."
This is different than everything that has come out so far but it also does make sense. At one point Hancock was considered the potential top overall pick. The projectable 6’4” righty did not get off to the excellent start that he needed to before things shut down. Overall he owned a 3.75 ERA across the four starts that he made. Hancock gave up 22 base hits in his 24 innings of work, which is the only other really negative looking stat. He struck out 34 batters giving him a K/9 ratio of 12.75.
Hancock has everything one could want in a starting pitching prospects. He is big and projectable, standing at 6’4” and weighing around 215 pounds. He already is showing strikeout stuff, including a fastball that sits in the mid-90s that he can run up to 97-98 at times. Also, he has a projectable slider and curveball which gives him a real shot to have front line type stuff.
Overall this would be quite surprising if Hancock fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates. If you would go back to this past fall you would find Hancock rated as the number one overall prospect. His slide has nothing to do with his performance but rather other players just putting themselves more firmly into top consideration as well. Instead, teams at the top of the draft seem to be focusing on hitters and Asa Lacy, who is one of the better left-handed pitching prospects in recent years.