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MLB Draft 2011 Prospects: Trevor Bauer Vs. Gerrit Cole Debate A Key To Early First Round

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has a good article on Trevor Bauer, the 'other' UCLA pitcher. I say 'other' because Bauer is pretty likely to be drafted after fellow Bruin hurler Gerrit Cole, even though Bauer has much better numbers. The issues with Bauer are that he's a smaller guy who has posted huge pitch counts (he gets into 125-plus pitch territory fairly often), and he has an unusual, herky-jerky delivery.

Cole, meanwhile, is bigger and throws harder than Bauer, and has a more standard delivery.

Bauer's stature and delivery have earned him comparisons to Tim Lincecum, which is both a compliment and a way of saying that nobody knows what to do with him. Lincecum fell in the draft in part because of the same concerns people have about Bauer, and of course the Giants' selection of Lincecum in the draft looks brilliant now.

Bauer is very bright and very self-aware about his workouts, which might make him less injury-prone than the typical slight college pitcher throwing 125 pitches a game. But if I'm the Pirates, I would just chuck the whole results (Bauer) versus aesthetics (Cole) debate and avoid them both. Sure, either of them could become a big star and make you look silly. But pitchers selected in the early first round have a very poor track record, historically. There's no indication that the Pirates are considering Bauer, but they do appear to be considering Cole, and Bauer will likely come off the board just a few picks later. Let teams with later picks worry about which of the two is going to be the best in the end, and take Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon with the first pick. 

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