Georgia pitcher Emerson Hancock undecided on 2020 MLB Draft

Georgia baseball-UGA-Emerson Hancock
Georgia baseball pitcher Emerson Hancock was off to another strong start this season.

ATHENS —Georgia pitcher Emerson Hancock has yet to decide on his future where the upcoming Major League Baseball Draft is concerned, unsure of where he will be picked.

Hancock is eligible to be drafted, but he does have the option of returning for another season while maintaining his class status as a junior on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hancock, a 6-foot-4, 213-pound right-hander from Cairo, Ga., has been projected as a top-five pick. Baseball America projected him as the No. 4 pick.

“At the end of the day you take it one day at a time, I want to take things slow,” Hancock said on a Zoom conference call with reporters on Tuesday.

The Major League Baseball Draft has been widely reported as taking place on June 10-11. The first round is expected to start at 7 p.m. on June 10 and be televised by the MLB Network.

“The great thing about the Major League Baseball Draft is you can see how things play out, you don’t have to declare,” Hancock said.  “There’s a lot of uncertainty about where people might go and how the draft might play out.

“I don’t really know what’s going to happen. But whatever does happen, I’ll make the best of it, and I’ll make the best decision for me and my family.”

Hancock, who was 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA when the season was suspended in March, said even if the season was still underway he wouldn’t necessarily have a decision at this point.

“At this point in our season, the only thing I’d be focusing on is pitching in Hoover (at the SEC Baseball Tournament) and getting focused on the regionals,” Hancock said.

“We had a really good group of guys. I knew in my heart this was going to be the year to break through the regionals,” Hancock said. “We were primed to play our best baseball in May and June. We certainly had fun in the 18 games we played.”

The Bulldogs were off to a 14-4 start this when the season was postponed on March 12 before ultimately being canceled on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgia was ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today at the time. It was the program’s highest ranking since the 2008 team was No. 2 after advancing to the College World Series Finals.

Hancock, one of the three team captains, was a Baseball America preseason All-America and on the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list.

It didn’t take long for Hancock to show his form, as he pitched seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a 9-0 win over Santa Clara on Feb. 21.

In his final start before the season was suspended, Hancock matched his career high with 12 strikeouts and no walks in 7.1 innings in a combined shutout win over UMass.

“A lot of people have their opinions on me,” Hancock said. “I love to compete, I love to win, and I love to work hard.”

Hancock said he’s been spending time with family and while staying in shape while back home in Cairo during the break.

“I’ve stuck to working out and throwing, making sure that I’m prepared for whatever might happen,” Hancock said. “It’s weird being by yourself, that’s for sure. Normally, you’re in there with 35 or 40 people … it’s really different, something you have to adjust to.”

Hancock was just as impressive off the field while attending Georgia.

Hanckock was named to the 2020 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team on Monday, an honor highlighting is community work.

A member of the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Hancock also took part in the annual Grady County HELP Agency, doing volunteer work to assist in providing necessities and toys to more than 500 families.

 

 

 

 

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