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The highest overall draft pick used by the Seattle Mariners in the Jerry Dipoto era was the 6th overall selection used in 2020 on right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock from Georgia. He was expected to be one of the best college pitchers in his draft class before the pandemic ended his junior season. After dealing with the pandemic and injuries, Hancock is back at Double-A Arkansas this season and has been on a much more normal schedule.

His overall season numbers are not great, but the native Georgian has been much better as of late. In four of his last five starts he has pitched 6 or more innings, except for one where he only went four and gave up 7 earned runs. In those five starts he has a 3.72 ERA with opponents batting .217/.282/.387 against him while striking out over 28% of batters and walking 8.5%.

In his last three starts however, Hancock has pitched 19 innings and only has a 1.89 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .209/.243/.299 slash line. He has also struck out over 31% of batters and only walked 4.5% during these last three starts.

If the Mariners need to call on another starting pitcher from the minor leagues, Hancock might be at the top of the list, especially if he continues to pitch at this level. The Mariners have already had to dip into their Double-A rotation twice this year when they added Bryce Miller to replace Robbie Ray after he injured his elbow, and then again more recently by calling up Bryan Woo when Marco Gonzales had to go on the Injured List. Woo is only pitching in his second professional season after having elbow surgery after college and has already thrown more innings this year (61.2) than he did last year (57). If the Mariners decide they should scale back Woo’s innings then they could bring up Hancock who has more professional innings than Woo.

Modesto Nuts (A) – California League

4 Michael Arroyo SS .409/.500/.705, 2 HR, 9.6% BB, 7.7% K
5 Cole Young SS .267/.403/.413, 3 HR, 15.5% BB, 13.5% K
9 Gabriel Gonzalez OF .345/.396/.502, 5 HR 6.4% BB, 15.5% K
18 Michael Morales RHP 12 GS, 61.1 IP, 3.96 ERA, 23.2% K, 8.7% BB
28 Tyler Gough RHP 9 G, 8 GS, 28 IP, 6.11 ERA, 17.7% K, 11.3% BB
35 Milkar Perez 3B .256/.386/.330, 15.5% BB, 25.5% K
36 Josh Hood SS/3B .261/.339/.406, 4 HR, 10.7% BB, 21% K
48 Tatem Levins C .279/.362/.500, 5 HR 12.1% BB, 21.3% K

Everett AquaSox (A+) — Northwest League

1 Harry Ford C .243/.406/.398, 9 HR, 18.9% BB, 19.2% K
8 Axel Sanchez SS .203/.305/.301, 2 HR, 9.6% BB, 30.5% K
13 Tyler Locklear 3B .311/.419/.572, 11 HR, 12.4% BB, 22.1% K
25 Hogan Windish 2B .255/.359/.469, 7 HR, 11.2% BB, 31.8% K
29 Alberto Rodriguez OF .298/.388/.569, 10 HR, 10.4% BB, 22.4% K
38 Walking Cabrera OF .238/.298/.431, 7 HR, 8.3% BB, 32% K

Arkansas Travelers (AA) – Texas League

6 Bryan Woo RHP 9 GS, 44 IP, 2.05 ERA, 34.3% K, 7% BB
7 Emerson Hancock RHP 13 GS, 59.1 IP, 4.85 ERA, 28% K, 11.4% BB
12 Prelander Berroa RHP 17 G, 5 GS, 38 IP, 3.55 ERA, 34.9% K, 18.1% BB
14 Jonatan Clase OF .252/.372/.533, 16 HR, 15.2% BB, 30.7% K
21 Robert Perez Jr. 1B .258/.325/.453, 9 HR, 6.3% BB, 30.6% K
22 Isaiah Campbell RHP 19 G, 20 IP, 3.15 ERA, 25.6% K, 8.5% BB
26 Juan Mercedes RHP 13 G, 12 GS, 61.1 IP, 5.28 ERA, 24% K, 7.5% BB
33 Travis Kuhn RHP 23 G, 27 IP, 2.67 ERA, 21.8% K, 10.9% BB
45 Spencer Packard OF .245/.381/.396, 6 HR, 15.9% BB, 17.6% K

Tacoma Rainiers (AAA) – Pacific Coast League

15 Taylor Dollard RHP 3 GS, 8.1 IP, 7.56 ERA, 22.2 K%, 8.3% BB
19 Juan Then RHP 12 G, 15.1 IP, 9.39 ERA, 20.8% K, 10.4% BB
20 Cade Marlowe OF .225/.289/.383, 4 HR, 7.8% BB, 27.6% K
24 Zach DeLoach OF .295/.403/.442, 7 HR, 14% BB, 28% K
40 Stephen Kolek RHP 20 G, 31 IP, 7.26 ERA, 20.1% K, 11.8% BB
UR Brian O’Keefe C .234/.332/.449, 11 HR, 12.6% BB, 24.8% K
UR Jake Scheiner INF/OF .286/.398/.577, 18 HR, 14.9% BB, 22.5% K

Mariners Draft Spotlight

The MLB Draft is nearing every closer and the MLB Draft Combine took place this week in Arizona where a few hundred prospects got to showcase their talents in front of scouts at Chase Field. There have been many players who have impressed scouts in attendance, and MLB Pipeline noted 10 players that impressed on day two of the event, and one of those players was prep shortstop Tai Peete.

Tai Peete is a 6-foot-2 shortstop from Georgia with an “electric left-handed swing” according to Pipeline. He caught their eye on day two of the combine because, “Peete has arguably the quickest bat in the Draft and he whipped it through the zone, generating the longest average drives (338 feet) and the highest average launch angle (38 degrees). His exit velocities averaged 92 mph and he also took a good infield.” MLB Pipeline has him ranked as their 53rd draft prospect while Joe Doyle of Future Stars Series has him ranked at 68.

Doyle said, “A lot of scouts like the talent a bit more at the plate where he presents current game power and pull-side juice. Peete has a solid glove on the dirt with a solid average arm, smooth footwork and quick hands, all traits that suggest he’ll stay at shortstop. He’s a reasonably good bet to get selected in the first couple rounds this July.”

Mariners Prospects in the News

MLB Pipeline highlighted the one prospect that is the hottest hitter in each organization, and the one from Seattle’s organization is on the Modesto Nuts.

MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo put together a new mock draft where he predicted three Mariners picks.

Check out Daniel Kramer of‘s overview of the Mariners minor leagues from earlier this week.

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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.