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Due to being drafted at the height of the pandemic, Emerson Hancock has had a unique start to his professional career. When he was in college at the University of Georgia, he was thought to be one of the best pitching prospects for the 2020 draft after he had a 1.99 ERA as a 20-year-old sophomore. Hancock was not as dominant to start the season in 2020 where he had a 3.75 ERA in 24 innings before the season was cancelled.

After being selected No. 6 overall in 2020, he was a part of the Mariners alternate training site where he got to play in scrimmages and workout with others Mariners minor leaguers. After this strange season, he made his professional debut for the High-A Everett Aqua Sox. He would pitch 31 innings there, only allowing 8 earned runs on 19 hits. He would then be promoted to Double-A Arkansas, but not stay healthy there for very long and only pitched for about a month.

All in all, right-hander only pitched 44.2 innings in 2021, having a 2.62 ERA. He would strike out 43 and walk 17. Hancock would start 2022 on the Injured List due to a lat injury. Once activated though, he would stay healthy the rest of the season for the Arkansas Travelers. He would pitch a career high 98.1 innings where he had a 3.75 ERA, striking out 92 and walking 38.

Prospect evaluators have him somewhere near the top of the Mariners farm system. MLB Pipeline has Hancock ranked as the Mariners No. 2 prospect behind Harry Ford, Fangraphs has him No. 4, and Prospects Live No. 5. Trevor Hooth of Prospects Live said about Hancock, “he could be anything between a number two and backend starter depending on whether or not he continues to get hit hard.”

It is unclear whether or not Hancock will start the 2023 season in Double-A or Triple-A, but he is likely to be one of the top options to fill a rotation spot if there is an injury to one of the big league starters.

Mariners Coaching News

The Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers will have a new pitching coach in 2023 because their 2022 pitching coach Alon Leichman took a big league job with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds also hired 2022 Double-A Arkansas Manager Collin Cowgill to be their first base coach. Cowgill had Leichman on his Double-A staff in 2021 and both worked with Brandon Williamson and Levi Stoudt, who were traded from the Mariners to the Reds in separate deals in 2022.

Mariners Named Organization of 2022

Baseball America named the Seattle Mariners as the Organization of 2022 for ending the 21 year playoff drought, having the Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez, and winning 90 games for the second consecutive season.

Mariners Minor League Transactions

The Mariners signed second baseman Riley Unroe to a minor league contract and assigned him to the Arkansas Travelers roster. The 27-year-old spent last season with the Travelers and played in 102 games, slashed .264/.367/.399. The 5-foot-11 switch hitter hit 8 home runs and stole 25 bases last year. He is likely just an organizational depth player for the 2023 season.

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Curtis Christianson

Curtis Christianson is the Athletic Director at Concordia Christian Academy. He also works in the Tacoma Rainiers clubhouse during the baseball season.