The Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates' Class A+ affiliate, lost to Palm Beach 2-1 on Monday, but the loss was secondary in importance to the performance of Gerrit Cole, who struck out seven batters in four innings in his first official pro start.â†µ
Cole allowed four hits, one walk and one run.â†µ
Cole pitched in the Arizona Fall League last year, but Monday was his first start for any of the Pirates' minor-league affiliates. The top overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft evidently threw 97 MPH in the start.â†µ
Ideally, the Pirates would probably like to send Cole to Class AA Altoona within a month or so, and starts like these ensure that he stays on track. As a top draft pick from a big college program, Cole could be in the majors by the middle of the 2013 season.â†µ
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