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Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon Named FSL All-Stars; When Will Cole Be Promoted?

Bradenton Marauders pitchers, and top Pirates prospects, Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole have been named Florida State League All-Stars.

Not only are Taillon and Cole the Pirates' top two minor-league talents, they're pretty much the only Marauders prospects having really good seasons. Taillon, the second overall pick in the 2010 Draft, has 48 strikeouts in 52 innings and is coming along nicely as the Bucs gradually allow him to throw more of his secondary pitches. I'd expect him to remain at Bradenton for the rest of the year, although I think it's possible he could get a couple starts in Class AA Altoona near the end of the season. The Pirates will probably move him slowly, since he was drafted out of high school.

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Cole, the top overall pick in the 2011 Draft, is a different case, and it's a little surprising the Pirates haven't sent him to Class AA already. Not only is he pitching well, but college pitchers from big programs (UCLA, in Cole's case) who are drafted in the early part of the first round typically move quickly. For example, Danny Hultzen, last year's second overall pick, has been at Class AA all season. The third overall pick, Trevor Bauer, who was Cole's teammate at UCLA, got an earlier start to his pro career than Cole did because he signed over, but he only pitched three outings at Class A+ and is already at Class AAA.

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Of course these things are complicated, and the Pirates tend to be a bit more conservative than most organizations about minor-league promotions. But Cole has already been at Class A+ longer than I expected him to be, and I'd be very surprised if the Pirates left him there much longer.

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