8 facts about Padres 3rd-round pick Cole Wilcox 

June 12th, 2020

Here are eight facts you should know about right-hander Cole Wilcox, the No. 80 overall selection by the Padres in the 2020 MLB Draft:

Wilcox, MLB Pipeline's No. 23 Draft prospect, was a three-sport star at Heritage High School (Ringgold, Ga.), excelling at both basketball and football, in addition to baseball. He was particularly proficient on the hardwood, finishing his high school basketball career with 1,506 points, 996 rebounds and 198 blocks. Wilcox was named a "Best of Preps All-Star" in basketball for both his junior and senior seasons. He also took home a number of other awards for his senior season, including the 2018 Catoosa County Male Athlete of the Year Award, Wirt Gammon Sr. Baseball Player of the Year Award and Scrappy Moore Male Athlete of the Year Award.

• Those athletic accomplishments should come as no surprise given Wilcox's family background. His mom, Sandy, also starred on the hardwood while playing collegiate basketball during her time at Chattanooga (Tenn.) State.

• Along with Wilcox's success as a high school basketball player, he was still very much a star on the baseball field. He went 9-2 with a 1.59 ERA and 95 strikeouts over 65 2/3 innings as a senior, while also hitting .452 with nine homers to help Heritage go 31-8 and reach the Class 4A state semifinals.

• Wilcox continued that success during his first season at the University of Georgia, earning Freshman All-SEC honors as voted on by league coaches. He racked up 64 strikeouts over 59 2/3 innings, while holding opponents to a .216 average.

• Wilcox earned an invitation to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team summer camp and made the 26-man travel roster. He finished with a 2.57 ERA over four appearances, including one start, for Team USA. He earned a win over Cuba with three scoreless innings and three strikeouts, and he was also part of a combined one-hit shutout of Japan in which he pitched 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.

• Along with completing at-home workouts to stay in shape over the past few months, Wilcox has used the unexpected free time to get in some extra turkey hunting and fishing. He also still enjoys picking up a basketball and getting some shots up from time to time.

• Wilcox was on the watch list for USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award in 2020 -- and he was making a strong early case. Prior to the season being cut short due to COVID-19, Wilcox was 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA over four starts, while racking up 32 strikeouts to just two walks over 23 innings.

• Wilcox has some of the best pure stuff in the Draft, according to MLB Pipeline. His fastball ranges from 92-97 mph, but he can reach 100 mph with some sink and armside run. Both of his mid-80s secondary pitches show signs of becoming plus offerings, with his fading changeup a tick more reliable than his power slider. Wilcox has said that he was planning to rely even more on his slider as his sophomore season went on, only to have it end after four starts.

• Though Wilcox is obviously a superb athlete and has a strong, durable frame, there will be questions about whether he's best deployed as a starter or a reliever. Some scouts have critiqued his delivery, which features a low elbow and a long arm stroke that allows hitters to track the ball well out of his hand, according to MLB Pipeline.