Monday, June 6, 2011

MLB Draft Live Blog

The Pirates have been one of baseball’s laughingstock franchises for most of the past 20 years. DO I feel bad for Pirates fans? No. They have the Steelers and Penguins so I feel no pity whatsoever for them. That said, Pittsburgh started to do things the right, spending big bucks on the likes of Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie last year. This year they grab Gerrit Cole, a 6’4” righty from UCLA.

Cole was a 1st rounder in 2008 but chose to go to school instead. His delivery has improved since then, making scouts more optimistic about his ability to stay healthy and his ability to consistently throw strikes. He has the best raw stuff in the draft with a fastball that sits 95-97mph and has touched 101mph. The funny thing is, it’s not even his best pitch. His mid 80s changeup would miss bats in the majors today. His arm speed on the change is identical to that of his fastball and the pitch has impressive late fade. Cole also employs a slider which flashes plus, but is inconsistent.

Obviously Cole couldn’t generate that kind of velocity without using his entire body efficiently, and he does just that, especially with his lower half.

One concern for Cole is how often his fastball hangs up in the zone. I’d like to see him get in better shape, likely giving him more control over his body and better command of his pitches.

Cole’s numbers are not as impressive as his Bruin teammate, Trevor Bauer, but his tools are unmatched and looking at statistics in amateur baseball is a fool’s errand. Cole would have been my pick here as well.

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