Georgia baseball saw one pitcher go with the No. 6 overall pick, as the Seattle Mariners took Emerson Hancock. Then in the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft, Georgia pitcher Cole Wilcox joined Hancock, as he was taken with the No. 80 pick by the San Diego Padres in the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft.
— MLB Draft Tracker (@MLBDraftTracker) June 11, 2020
— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) June 11, 2020
Wilcox doesn’t have the same stats that Hancock did, but he might have a higher-upside. The 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher has reached 100-MPH on his fastball and got off to a strong start during his COVID-shortened sophomore season. He is from Chickamauga, Ga.
In four starts, Wilcox struck out 32 batters in 23 innings while going 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA. That performance earned him second-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball.
Wilcox made 23 appearances in his two seasons at Georgia, with 10 of those coming as a starter. He posted a career 6-2 record with 3.38 ERA. In 82.2 career innings, he struck out 96 batters.
Wilcox is a rare draft-eligible sophomore and does have the ability to return to Georgia should he not sign a contract with San Diego. MLB teams have until Aug. 1 to come to an agreement with their draft picks.
“Obviously, I love the University (of Georgia), the two years I’ve spent there are two of the best years of my life, not only in baseball but my growth as a person,” Wilcox said. “On the other side of that, it could be something that fulfills a life-long dream.
“Either way, I look it as a win-win for sure. I’ve got to crank out the details. I’m going to talk a lot with my family, a lot with the people I’m close with.”
The No. 80 pick has a slot value of $767,800. Signability is one of the reasons Wilcox ended up sliding in the draft, as teams were not sure if they’d be able to reach the price tag Wilcox desired. The Padres have bonus signing pool of $10,674,000 — meaning the signing bonus’ must add up to that value or the team faces a possible tax.
Wilcox was San Diego’s fourth selection and the second pitcher to be taken. He was also the first college player taken by the Padres in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Wilcox was projected as a first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft but after not going during the first day of that draft, elected to go to Georgia. The Washington Nationals drafted him in the 37th round of that draft.
The Georgia baseball team, led by pitchers Wilcox and Hancock, was 14-4 and ranked as high as No. 2 in the country before the shutdown due to COVID-19.
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