Mariners select Emerson Hancock with 6th pick in MLB draft

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SEATTLE, Wash. – The Seattle Mariners selected right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock out of the University of Georgia with their first selection (6th overall) in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft, Director of Amateur Scouting Scott Hunter announced tonight.

Hancock, who turned 21 on May 31, completed his abbreviated junior season at the University of Georgia with a team-best 34 strikeouts to just three walks, going 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA over 4 starts. Hancock won a myriad of awards and was named to several postseason teams, including the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, which recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in school, and will be on the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration, which will be announced tomorrow. Hancock cemented himself as a dominant force in 2019 as a sophomore when he went 8-3 with a 1.99 ERA, which ranked 8th best in Georgia history. Over 90.1 innings, Hancock struck out 97 batters and issued only 18 walks as opposing hitters batted just .185. He allowed no more than one run in nine of his 14 starts as a sophomore, including four games in which he did not allow a run. As a freshman in 2018, Hancock threw 77.2 innings and struck out 75 batters, holding opponents to a .242 batting average over 15 starts. For his entire Georgia career, Hancock went 16-7 with a 3.47 ERA and 206 strikeouts over 33 starts.

“Emerson is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound power arm with 4 plus-pitches and plus-command,” Hunter said. “His combination of stuff, strike-throwing and size profiles him as a true top-of-the-rotation starter. We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to select such a special talent with the sixth pick.”

Prior to his time at Georgia, Hancock was named Player of the Year by the Thomasville Times-Enterprise after posting an 11-1 record with a 0.75 ERA, 125 strikeouts and only eight walks as a senior at Cairo High School in Cairo, Ga. He also batted .391 with seven doubles, one home run and 31 RBI as a senior. The right-hander was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 38th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, but did not sign.

The 2020 Draft concludes tomorrow with rounds 2-5 (starts at 2:00 p.m. PT). The Mariners are scheduled to make five picks tomorrow, beginning with the 43rd overall selection.