Projections and comparisons
I’ve seen a lot of places try to compare him to Casey Mize — another SEC right-handed pitcher who was recently taken number one overall.
But Casey doesn’t throw nearly as hard and he has a much better feel for four pitches that allows him to tally up the strikeouts.
Mize struck out 109 batters his sophomore year in 83.2 innings and 156 in his junior season in 114.2 innings.
Hancock will need to develop that third pitch a little more before he gets to that level and becomes a strikeout machine.
I’ll go with another SEC pitcher in Brady Singer who was recently taken 18th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Singer also throws in the mid-90s with a good slider, and he also struck out a batter an inning in college.
That may make some people question if Hancock should go in the first five picks, but with Hancock you’re expecting that upside and for him to take that next step forward and become more of a strikeout pitcher like a Casey Mize.
And Singer did very well in his first full season in pro ball with a 2.85 ERA in 148.1 innings with 138 strikeouts. MLB Pipeline ranks Singer as the 52nd best prospect overall and projects him to be a top of the rotation starter.
I think you should expect that same thing for Hancock except that he has the upside to be an ACE if he develops his secondary stuff further.
He would have to take a huge step back in order to fall to the Padres at eight. My prediction is that he’ll go fourth overall to the Kansas City Royals (who, by the way, also have Singer).