This may be a little bit of putting the cart before the horse, but the Miami Marlins have the third overall pick in the 2020 MLB Amateur Entry Draft. I believe they’ll spend that pick on Emerson Hancock.
Hancock is a six-foot-four, 213 lb. right-handed starter from Cairo, GA. Still just 20-years-old, Hancock is in his third season pitching with the University of Georgia Bulldogs. In 29 starts, he’s posted a 14-7 record with a 3.43 ERA and 172 whiffs in 168 frames. He’s held the opposition to a 1.071 WHIP.
Most impressive so far for Hancock was his 2019 UGA season. He was 8-3 with a 1.99 ERA, 97 K’s in 90 1/3 innings and a 0.841 WHIP over 14 starts.
Kate Preusser over at Lookout Landing had a pretty good report on Hancock:
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"Hancock lives on his fastball, but he also has an arsenal of other pitches that project to be above-average offerings, including a slider, changeup, and curveball. The slider is probably the most advanced of the secondaries, with sweep and sink that makes it disappear on batters, but Hancock says he feels his curveball is one of the pitches that’s taken the biggest step forward with his added muscle, as he feels like he’s getting tighter spin on it."
I believe that the two-and-a-half seasons following the 2020 draft will be sufficient to prepare Hancock for major league ball, and he should start the 2023 campaign in the Marlins rotation.
Of course, this was after all a thought-exercise. The Miami Marlins have a lot of other possibilities in-system, and countless more through draft, trade, free agency, and rule 5. What do you think? Am I way off? Let me know in the comments, whether you agree or disagree, and thanks for reading.