Gerrit Cole: Who Will Be #1?

The clock continues to count down toward the 2011 MLB Draft. Here is the second part of my series taking a look at who the Pirates might take first overall.

Gerrit Cole

Height/Weight/Age: 6’4″/220/20

Position: Pitcher

School: UCLA

Scouting Report:

A pitcher that fits the workhorse and power pitcher roles, Cole is a rare combination of finesse and strength. With a fastball that averages in the mid to upper 90s that can top out at 99-100 MPH, and a devastating slider, Gerrit features an arsenal of pitches that can rack up a ton of swings and misses. He also features a strong arm that lets him go deep into games regularly and eat innings. In 15 2011 starts, he has gone 6-7 with a 3.28 ERA while striking out 108 batters in 107 innings.

Why the Pirates will draft him

Depth– Yes the Pirates drafted pitcher Jameson Taillon with the 2nd pick last year, but with pitching being such an unpredictable position, it’s better to have two high-potential arms than one, especially if the injury bug hits one of them.

Potential for a devastating rotation– Assuming both Taillon and Cole develop, the Pirates would have a ridiculously good top of the rotation that would feature two aces.

Why the Pirates won’t draft him

Workload– Since Cole has pitched so much in college, it would be likely that the team limits his innings pitched for at least the first year in the organization. While this may prevent injury, not pitching regularly may hinder his development.

Danny Hultzen– Though Cole has great potential to develop into a good pitcher, he hasn’t dominated college hitters quite like Danny Hultzen of Virginia. The fat that Hultzen is also a lefty will also make them look long and hard at him before pulling the trigger on someone else.