Top Prospect #14: RHP Josh Hancock

Remember Jeremy Giambi? When the Phillies dealt him to Boston, it was seen as a nothing-for-nothing trade. Phillies GM Ed Wade said that Josh Hancock, acquired in the trade, was a good, young, developing pitcher and that he was glad to have gotten him. Now, with Jeremy Giambi bouncing around the majors looking for work, the Phillies are in a position to enjoy the fruits of the deal.

Josh Hancock was a climber in the Boston Red Sox organization. He was rewarded with a call-up in September of 2002. It was the third level that Hancock had pitched at that season, having started at AA Trenton and then moved to AAA Pawtucket for 8 starts there. Hancock seemed to have a bright future in Boston, until he was sent packing to Philadelphia, that is.

The Phillies, feeling that Hancock needed more time in the minors, put him at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre in 2003. Hancock started 27 of the 28 games that he appeared in for the Red Barons and put up impressive numbers. Suddenly, fans who follow the Phillies minor league system were seeing why the Phillies had gotten young Hancock away from Boston.

Hancock doesn't exactly dazzle hitters with his stuff. His fastball is generally in the low 90s and his curve and change are certainly good, but not the stuff that legends are made of. What Hancock does possess is the knowledge of pitching. He knows how to use his stuff, mix his pitches and rely on location to get hitters out. Hancock's career minor league ERA of 3.79 and the fact that he has more than 2.5 strikeouts for every walk that he issues are testaments to how he pitches and what he can do. In his few major league outings, Hancock has looked poised and has shown that he can get hitters out at the major league level, as well.

Barring injuries, there is simply no room for Hancock in the Phillies rotation. If you see him there, it's bad news, because that means somebody is either hurt or having a terrible season. There are a couple of bullpen spots open though and that's where Hancock could fit in with the 2004 Phillies. He isn't a lock for one of the spots, but the Phillies will take a long look at him in spring training. If he doesn't make the major league club, he will likely go back to the starting rotation at AAA Scranton and stay ready in case he is needed either in the rotation or the bullpen at the major league level. Hancock will turn 26 just after the start of the season.

Josh Hancock's Career Stats

 

Year/Team

W

L

ERA

SV

G

GS

IP

H/9 IP

BB/9 IP

KO/9 IP

1998 GCL Red Sox (Rookie)

1

1

0.68

0

5

1

13.1

6.1

2.0

14.2

1998 Lowell (Rookie)

0

1

0.00

0

1

1

4.0

11.25

9.0

9.0

1999 Augusta (Low A)

6

8

3.80

0

25

25

139.2

10.0

3.0

6.8

2000 Sarasota (High A)

5

10

4.45

0

26

24

143.2

11.0

2.3

5.9

2001 Trenton (AA)

8

6

3.65

0

24

24

130.2

9.5

2.5

8.2

2002 Trenton (AA)

3

4

3.63

1

15

14

84.2

8.7

1.9

7.3

2002 Pawtucket (AAA)

4

2

3.45

0

8

8

44.1

7.9

5.3

5.9

2002 Boston

0

1

3.68

0

3

1

7.1

6.2

2.5

7.4

2003 Scranton Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

10

9

3.86

0

28

27

165.2

8.0

2.5

6.6

2003 Philadelphia

0

0

3.00

0

2

0

3.0

6.0

0.0

12.0

Career Minor League Stats

37

41

3.79

1

132

124

726.0

9.1

2.7

7.0

Career Major League Stats

0

1

3.49

0

5

1

10.1

6.1

1.7

8.7

 


Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories