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Report: Pirates taking UCLA righty Gerrit Cole with No. 1 pick

Jun 6, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

gerrit-cole-ucla AP

UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole will be the Pirates’ choice with the No. 1 pick when the draft starts tonight, according to MLB.com prospect and draft analyst Jonathan Mayo.

Cole’s performance this season is considered somewhat disapppointing, with rotation-mate Trevor Bauer posting superior numbers, but Cole has long been projected as the potential No. 1 pick and ESPN.com’s Keith Law ranks him as the top prospect in the draft.

Baseball America ranks Cole third behind Rice infielder Anthony Rendon and high school right-hander Dylan Bundy.

According to Mayo the Pirates narrowed their consideration down to Cole, Rendon, and Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, eventually settling on the hard-throwing, 6-foot-4 righty with mid-90s velocity and a 119/24 K/BB ratio in 114 innings.

Check back tonight for HardballTalk’s analysis of the first round as it unfolds.

  1. purdueman - Jun 6, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I just hope that every by-line I read on this story begins with: “Former unsigned Yankee draft pick Garrit Cole ….”!

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      Smart kid, went to college instead of rolling the dice.

      • purdueman - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        Not really. The Tigers Rick Porcello said flat out not to draft him coming out of high school because he was totally committed to going to college, but when Dumb-rowski pulled out Ilich’s checkbook and the first number out of seven on it was a seven, who needs college?

        Properly invested, the $7.1M guaranteed signing bonus money the Tigers gave Porcello alone should set him up for life. In addition, he’s now gained 2 valuable years of MLB service time which will lead (barring injury), to a likely big payday two years sooner than had he gone to college. Those are earning years that you can’t get back.

        I’m not trying to be judgmental though of Cole; I’m being judgmental about the Yankees not being more like the Tigers were with Porcello.

      • JBerardi - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:03 PM

        Are people aware that every remotely high draft pick gets a free ride on college tuition? IE, if you come out as a junior, the team that drafts you will pay for your last two semesters should you choose to finish (most guys do). If you’re a high school player, you get money equivalent to cost of whatever school you’ve been accepted to. This money is not part of their signing bonus, which is probably why so few people know about it. So, not only would Cole have gotten a shitload of bonus money from the Yankees, he wouldn’t have even needed to use any of it to go back to school if wanted too after his career. Meanwhile, it’s entirely possible he could have blown out his arm in college ball.

        So what part of this decision was “smart”, again?

      • purdueman - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:33 PM

        jber… puhl-ease! The latest estimates recently divulged by ESPN estimate the value of a scholarship between $60,000-$100,000/year (depending of course on the institution; a scholarship from Stanford is valued a lot higher than a scholarship at Texas Tech for example).

        Add to that the fact that a lot of kids wind up majoring in liberal arts curriculum, which makes them attractive to insurance companies to become salespeople, but more often than not don’t prepare them for a career in their chosen field of study.

        Let’s take the best case scenario and say that Rick Porcello (who bypassed going to college after telling all MLB teams not to bother drafting him). Let’s say that Porcello was offered a full four year scholarship to prestigious Stanford. Using the recently announced estimates of the high end that’s worth $400,000.

        Porcello got $7.1M in guaranteed signing bonuses. He could afford to attend Stanford for four years pursuing different degrees for 14 years in a row and still have money in the bank. Did you ever pass a basic math class?

      • JBerardi - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:38 PM

        “Let’s say that Porcello was offered a full four year scholarship to prestigious Stanford. Using the recently announced estimates of the high end that’s worth $400,000.

        Porcello got $7.1M in guaranteed signing bonuses. He could afford to attend Stanford for four years pursuing different degrees for 14 years in a row and still have money in the bank. Did you ever pass a basic math class?”

        Did you even read my post? Porcello DID get that college money (he didn’t need a scholarship, either, just to be accepted), IN ADDITION to the 7.1 he got to sign. My point is, going to college is NOT the “smart” decision for high school pitcher with a million-dollar arm. Do you dispute that?

      • purdueman - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:44 AM

        jp… my apologies; I read a couple of different takes on the signing bonus vs. staying in school issue while I was literally headed out the door to pick up one of my kids, and the fact that I have the cold from hell doesn’t help any either.

        No, we’re TOTALLY on the same page. What I misunderstood was that I had no idea that Porcello got to keep his scholarship in addition the absurd amount of bonus money the Tigers threw at him to sign.

        While it may seem absurd though, per my earlier posts it’s still a lot cheaper investment than giving a pitcher a $100M six or seven year investment in free agency, hoping that they won’t significantly decline or get injured over time.

        I give you the Angels signing of Bartolo Colon as Exhibit A and the Yankees signings of Damasco Marte and Carl Pavano (nyuk! nyuk! nynk!), as Exhibits B and C! Although these signings were half or a little bit less than that, it still was a lot more money than Porcello got that just got flushed down the old porcelain fixture.

  2. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    The Royals need to draft Bubba Starling.

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    guy is gonna be a big bust

    • JBerardi - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:04 PM

      Based on what, exactly? The Pirates are drafting and haha, the Pirates suck?

      • purdueman - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        jp… due to the weak division that the Pirates play in, they don’t have to try and build a team that with divisional based scheduling have to compete with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox you know.

        The Pirates right now IMO have a much brighter near term future than the likes of the Cubs (who thanks to GM Hendry have been saddled with several bad long term contracts), and the Lastro’s. Add to that if the Cardinals lose Pujois which in turn may cause La Russa to retire, they also would have a brighter near term future than the Cardinals.

        The Brewers are going to tumble, as Fielder is a Bor-ass guy and will walk as a free agent at the end of the season. That leaves the Pirates only needing to match up well with the Reds in their division over the next 2-3 years (or more).

      • JBerardi - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:41 PM

        Yes, I like the Pirate’s future as well. Cole is a badass. Not sure what you’re arguing, really.

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