Dave Serrano: ‘The SEC Is Loaded With Good Arms’

Image credit: Zack Thompson (Tom Priddy)

Dave Serrano’s weekly video series focuses on our newest Top 25 update, plus his takeaways after watching No. 6 Georgia face Kentucky this weekend. 

Georgia (23-5) took two-of-three on the road from a struggling Kentucky team, but it was hardly a throwaway series. 

Serrano was particularly impressed with three arms: Georgia’s Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox, and Kentucky’s Zack Thompson. 

On Hancock looking like a top 2020 prospect…

“In my opinion, he will for sure be a top pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Emerson was very impressive … He pitched with a 94-96 mph fastball that had a lot of life to it. A lot of arm-side run and a lot of arm-side sink. What was also impressive was a very good, in the zone, slider that he threw at-will at any time and a very good, playable changeup.”

On dealing with adversity…

“In three different instances in the game: In the third inning and the fifth inning, he gives up solo shots over the left field bullpen. In the seventh inning he has a comeback that he overthrows to the middle infielder that results in an error. In all three instances, Emerson threw his best pitches and his toughest pitches to the next hitter to shut down the inning. To me, that shows a lot of character to deal with adversity and be able to rebound.”

He was also impressed with Thompson, Kentucky’s ace. Thompson is currently No. 14 in our 2019 MLB Draft rankings and just won SEC Pitcher of the Week after striking out 13 batters and yielding just two hits in a complete game shutout. 

For the season, Thompson is 2-0 with 2.06 ERA in seven starts. He has 68 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings, walking just 14 batters during that span. 

“Even though Kentucky is struggling in SEC right now, Zack Thompson … went in that game and put his team on his back,” Serrano said. “All he did was have maybe the best performance around the country and the best performance to his career at this point.”

On a signature moment in the eighth inning…

“There was a stint in the eighth inning where he was starting to tire with his pitch count getting high. I saw his velocity drop to 90 mph. He walked the lead-off hitter in the eighth inning. After that, his veto went up for 93, 94, even a touch to 95. He struck out the side and just dominated. I felt it was the best performance around the country.”

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