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2011 MLB Draft: How Do Gerrit Cole And Josh Bell Fit In The Pirates' System?

The Pirates spent over $17 million in the 2011 MLB Draft, much of it Monday night on top picks Gerrit Cole ($8 million) and Josh Bell ($5 million). Where do those picks fit among the Pirates' top prospects?

I just made a new top 30 list for Bucs Dugout, and what I came up with is that Cole would fit in second, behind Jameson Taillon (last year's No. 2 overall pick). Most analysts would probably put Cole first, but I went with Taillon because of the mechanical problems that led Cole to post subpar statistics at UCLA this year. Cole and Taillon might end up being in the same rotation next year in Bradenton, unless the Pirates decide to be aggressive with Cole and put him at Altoona. So we'll get a chance to compare the two pitchers.

I rank Bell fourth, behind Taillon, Cole and Starling Marte. Marte is also an outfielder, but unless something changes in the next year or two, he's more of a leadoff type; Bell is now the best power prospect in the system. He'll likely begin next season at West Virginia. Because he's coming out of high school, the Pirates probably won't be particularly aggressive with him.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.