It’s been a special week for Gerrit Cole, as he was nabbed by the Pirates with the first pick overall of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. As special as it was, it was not unique for him personally. After all, the 6’4, 220-lbs college junior was drafted back following his High School career in 2008 by the New York Yankees with the 28th overall pick.
The Yankees were reportedly ready to offer the high school athlete upwards of $4 million, but Cole decided to follow through with his collegiate scholarship to UCLA. There has even been a picture published in local newspapers showing the 11-year-old Gerrit Cole holding a sign proclaiming himself a “Yankee Fan Today Tomorrow Forever,” from the front row of Bank One Ballpark during the 2001 World Series. Though Cole grew up a Yankee’s fan, he has made it clear that he does not regret the decision to join the UCLA Bruins.
No better justification of his decision came last night when Cole was taken with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft by the Pittsburg Pirates. Scouts swarmed the stands as Cole delivered his high-90 mph fastball, sharp slider and improving changeup, gaining him 376 strikeouts over 322 1/3 innings, during his three-year tenure with UCLA. Pittsburgh praised their pick despite Cole’s pedestrian numbers his senior year (a 6-8 record, with a 3.31 ERA). The Bucs are banking that Cole will enjoy a winning career once he takes the mound in the Major Leagues.
* Written By Matt Sbordone (@SbordoneZone), Bloomberg Sports