Chicago Cubs: Five MLB draft day ‘dream’ scenarios
Chicago Cubs: A good ole’ fashioned Georgia boy
Last but not least, on our dream list for the Cubs in the upcoming MLB draft is starting right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock. As one of the more polished prospects, or so it seems, Hancock has enjoyed three seasons at the University of Georgia, where Hancock has worked his way as Georgia’s ace of the starting rotation.
Hancock has a lovely compact windup finished off by a smooth delivery to the plate at high speeds. Like Detmers and Kjerstad, Hancock also heard his name called on draft day, during the 38th-round of the 2017 MLB first-year player draft. He chose instead to fulfill his commitment to his education and quickly became a Bulldog shortly after that.
Similar to Detmers, Hancock struggled during his freshman season. He started immediately and posted a 5.10 ERA across 15 starts. Part of Hancock’s struggles in that first year came down to his walk-to-strike ratio. For Hancock, it was not a pretty sight as he pitched to only an 8.69 K/9 rate with a walk rate of over three per game.
From when Hancock left his teenage years behind, he improved significantly during his sophomore season with a 1.99 ERA in 14 starts. He posted a career-high in innings pitched, reaching nearly 100 innings, and the strikeouts began to increase with each passing day.
A comparison made from scouts lays way to Hancock’s connection with that of Detroit Tigers’ top overall prospect, Casey Mize. Each carries qualities of the other in some sense that they hammer the strike zone and stand similar in size. It is not a bad comparison. The Cubs, out of anybody, probably have the best chance to land Hancock as surprising as that sounds. If they do, it will be draft capital well worth the money.