Monday, June 6, 2011

Pirates take Gerrit Cole

The Pirates had the dubious honor of picking number one in tonight's first round of the MLB Draft. Rather than go with the stud 3B that fans have been clamoring for over the past year, the Pirates went with UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole.
Here's some info I dug up on Cole:

There is going to be a lot of second guessing this pick, as Rendon had previously been compared to MLB stars Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman and had been seen as a lock at #1 after last year's draft. I already heard 93.7 host Andrew Fillipponi (who sucks, by the way) giving some nonsensical instant negative reaction to the pick. But, I think it's pretty hard to be overly critical of the pick when you consider the following:
  • This wasn't a pick based on cost, as the Pirates are proven big spenders in the draft and Cole isn't going to come cheap
  • Rendon fell all the way to #6, so there may be more serious concerns regarding the shoulder injury that caused his numbers to fall this year
  • If the Pirates are going to be legit contenders, they are going to need a frontline pitching staff, which is nearly prohibitively expensive on the free agent market for them, so they need to stockpile arms in the draft. Cole, by most accounts, was the premiere arm in the draft, at least among college pitchers.

I'm a firm believer that you should want to see management taking the guy they believe in most, not necessarily who the fans want or what the magazines might say. Almost no one locally who I've already heard criticizing the pick has actually seen any of these guys play, nor know anything about scouting, which makes them as knowledgeable on the subject as myself. I get that the position player theoretically is the more likely to succeed and I'll admit that I personally was hoping to see the pick be Rendon. But, I'm not a scout and I'm pretty happy to see the Pirates ignore the hype and get the guy they want. That's what the Steelers would do.

Update: Wow! The Pirates just took Josh Bell as the first pick of the second round. He's a HS OF who is rated as the 5th best offensive prospect in this year's draft by Baseball America. The story on him though is that he absolutely wants to go to college, so won't sign a contract. The Pirates taking him here suggests they are going to try to blow him away with a big contract offer. It's not quite the same thing as winning lots of games, but the Pirates continue to show they're serious about acquiring young talent.


  1. I have no problem with this pick. Looks like they are trying to build their pitching... always really valuable to have another ace if he works out.

  2. Cantor mentioned to me that the Yankees wanted him pretty bad a couple years ago.... looks like they did. At least we know that his dream of playing for the buccos is finally realized haha

  3. Having just one ace is extremely valuable. There aren't even enough true aces for every team to have one. Getting Cole, Allie, Taillon, and Heredia in the last year gives them a better chance at having one emerge as that ace, and hopefully a pretty decent chance of a rotation that hopefully goes deeper than even just 1-5.

  4. No problem with the pick, I guess they have to hit it big with at least one of these pitchers. Rendon seems like High/risk high reward, I was suprised he dropped as far as he did. The most intriging guy was the high schooler Starling

  5. I heard Cole hit 105 on the radar gun, got to love his arm. Lets hope he doesn't end up like Aroldis Chapman. Lots of hype for his 100 MPH fastball, but a disappointment in the long run. The Pirates history with pitching coaches, guarantees at least one Tommy John surgery in Cole's future.