Georgia pitcher Cole Wilcox: 2020 MLB Draft still a ‘guessing game’
ATHENS — Georgia baseball pitcher Cole Wilcox is playing the waiting game — and a poker game of sorts — while waiting on the Major League Baseball Draft.
Wilcox, like fellow UGA pitcher Emerson Hancock, is a projected first-round pick who is eligible for the draft (June 10-11).
Like Hancock, he has not committed to leaving Georgia if selected.
“I don’t know yet,” Wilcox said on a Tuesday Zoom call with UGA media. “That’s something I probably won’t know until after the draft is over, because that’s kind of how it works.
“Teams keep their business to themselves. It’s kind of a guessing game at this point. Whatever happens, happens.”
Listening to the 6-foot-5, 232-pound sophomore talk on Tuesday, it became evident he’s planning on launching his professional baseball career after the draft.
Even then, more unknowns await him.
While Major League Baseball is still trying to iron out a plan to restart the season, there have been indications the Minor League Baseball seasons will be canceled.
Wilcox was 3-0 in four starts with a 1.57 ERA in 23 innings with 32 strikeouts and only two walks when the season was halted amid the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12.
The Chickamauga, Ga., product said he tries not to think about professional baseball’s plight. Though, he does factor it into a workout regimen that’s designed to help him get even stronger while keep his arm fresh and loose.
“If we were in season I’d have just finished the (NCAA) regionals, so I’d be in game shape, I’d be throwing 7 or 8 innings, 120 pitches,” Wilcox said.
Instead, Wilcox said, “I’m throwing, just not off the mound or anything. No bullpen, no long toss, nothing super taxing, just keeping my arm in good enough shape for when it is time to ramp it back up.”
Wilcox has a 100 mph fastball as evidenced in the Tweet below, along with the power and stamina that had Major League Baseball teams calling his number throughout the past two seasons.
Hey @DSeifertD1PBR – I finally got a good #HeatSheet Alert for you: here’s @BaseballUGA freshman righty Cole Wilcox blowing away Jacob Olson on a 100 mph heater. Sat mostly 98-99 with a couple 88 mph sliders in a 1-2-3 5th, also fanned Luke Berryhill on 99. pic.twitter.com/aHmdlKlIxz
— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) March 16, 2019
“I’ve spoken with a good majority of the teams, they come meet with us in the fall, and you build relationships with them,” Wilcox said. “They stay in pretty good contact throughout the season. It’s kind of hit and miss, you don’t really know how to take all the calls and stuff.
“I’ve stayed in pretty good contact with a lot of teams in all areas of the draft. It’s hard to tell interest at this point and what they are thinking right now.”
Wilcox has been widely projected in the first half of the 37-man first round, but a Tuesday ESPN pay site article projects Wilcox as the No. 23 overall pick.
According to the ESPN story, Wilcox is …
“A first-round talent in the 2018 prep class who hasn’t progressed much in college; he’s still throwing up to 100 mph to go with an above-average slider and changeup.”
Wilcox said he feels he has matured and grown stronger since high school while experiencing some of the best times of his life with his Georgia teammates.
The Bulldogs were ranked No. 2 when the season came to a premature end.
“We knew we had a special team and a special group, we had good bonds throughout the whole team, that was what was so special about it,” Wilcox said.
“Last year, that was some of the best memories of my life, being able to travel to Mississippi State, and go to Hoover for the SEC Tournament, you’re really going to miss it when you’ll never play with that group again
“I feel like I was just kind of scratching the surface.”
But still, having some fun along the way, needing nine takes before releasing this diving board, trick shot video on his Twitter account:
For pitchers everywhere pic.twitter.com/NHkoE859zF
— Cole Wilcox (@ColeWilcox11) June 1, 2020