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2011 MLB Draft: Who Is Gerrit Cole?

The Pirates appear very likely to select UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, so here are some links that might tell you a little about Cole before the draft gets started.

-P- The Post-Gazette profiles Cole:

“He sits in that 93-96 range the whole game,” Savage said. “Sometimes, there’s even a spike. He holds his velocity unlike anybody I’ve ever seen. It’s just a special, special arm.”

That also was because some extra effort was removed from his delivery upon leaving high school.

“There’s a flow now. He came to us as an arm that could strike people out. Now, he’s a pitcher.”

-P-’s scouting report:

Cole looks and throws like a future ace, with three plus power pitches. His fastball is 92-99 mph and sits comfortably at 95-96 deep into starts. His hard slider comes in at 88-90 mph, and even his changeup is 88-90 mph. In some ways, that’s been the problem — no variation of velocity, allowing good hitters to time him.

As the draft unfolds Monday night, you’re likely to hear a lot about college statistics and how Bauer has worse stats than his teammate Trevor Bauer. You should ignore all that – the important thing here is what kind of big-leaguer Cole can be, not what his stats are right now.

The larger problem is that pitchers are very risky with the top overall pick in the draft. If Anthony Rendon’s shoulder were structurally sound, he would be a great choice with the top overall pick, but teams have medical reports on Rendon that we don’t have, and the Pirates aren’t picking him. There aren’t really any other position players who might reasonably be taken first overall, however, unless you’re a huge fan of Kansas high school outfielder Bubba Starling. If Rendon’s shoulder is going to be a serious problem, then Cole is a good choice, and once he signs, Pirates fans can start arguing about whether he or Jameson Taillon is the team’s best prospect.

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