Though the MLB Draft won’t happen until June, it’s always good to be informed of who the St. Louis Cardinals could potentially pick. Let’s take a look at an elite college RHP in Cole Wilcox.
The last time that Redbird Rants did a scouting report, it was about Mississippi State ace J.T. Ginn. The St. Louis Cardinals still lack depth in the farm system as far as pitching goes and should be the route that John Mozeliak goes come draft day.
Cole Wilcox, a right-hander out of The University of Georgia is another pitcher that fits the mold and can be a potential anchor in the Cardinals rotation for years to come. Wilcox did receive some first-round hype coming out of high school, but it was clear that Wilcox intended to attend college; so he was drafted in the 37th round by the Washington Nationals in 2018.
Wilcox is currently a part of a super-rotation at Georgia that includes potential first-overall pick Emerson Hancock; who is being regarded as one of the highest-rated pitchers to enter the MLB Draft in a very long time.
Wilcox, an expected Top-30 pick, is a solid sidekick for the monster of a pitcher in Hancock. (Hancock isn’t happening Cardinal fans.).
As a true freshman at Georgia in 2019, Wilcox earned a spot in Coach Scott Stricklin’s rotation towards the end of the season and ran with it, posting a very solid 3.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Wilcox is a big-bodied right-hander who stands at 6’5 and weighs about 235 lbs with a high voltage fastball and filthy secondary stuff and should not have a problem making it into the first round.
Like our last prospect in J.T. Ginn, Wilcox will be draft-eligible as a sophomore due to him turning 21 before the cut-off date. Wilcox is known for his sky-high ceiling. He has a fastball that sits in the 94-97 mph range and can hit 100 when need be. He also has a very solid power slider and changeup to go with that scary fastball of his.
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There are some concerns with Wilcox’s game though, and some scouts think that it might be best the Wilcox makes a switch to the bullpen. Mainly because of an overhead arm angle that makes it easier for batters to track the pitch.
For the Bulldogs in 2020, he is already picking up where he left off from last season, currently owning a 2.00 ERA with 26 strikeouts in only 18 innings. With SEC play looming soon, it could be the perfect period for Wilcox to capitalize and help his draft stock, assuming he decides to leave Georgia after his sophomore season.
I feel like the Cardinals desperately need to beef up the pitching in their farm system. They have highly touted prospects and young talent in the field as well as behind the plate, but the depth pitching-wise is very thin. Sure, the Cardinals have two former first-rounders in Matt Liberatore and Zach Thompson, but the drop-off after those guys is a pretty sizable gap. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cards go with pitching in the first round.