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Pirates sending No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole to Arizona Fall League

Sep 21, 2011, 2:14 PM EST

Gerrit Cole - UCLA AP

No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole didn’t sign with Pittsburgh until just before the August 16 deadline and won’t make his official minor-league debut until next season, but the Pirates announced that the right-hander from UCLA will pitch in the Arizona Fall League next month.

General manager Neal Huntington told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that the Pirates were pleased with Cole’s conditioning when he showed up to their instructional league and “always thought the best way for Gerrit to begin his development in our organization was to be challenged by the competition in Arizona.”

Typically the AFL features many more top-notch hitting prospects than pitching prospects because the environment is so hitter-friendly, so it’ll be interesting to see how the 21-year-old Cole fares after signing for $8 million.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 21, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Aaron, just curious as to whether Cole has any say in this? I mean…not that I think he would say no, as someone who was given $8 million bucks, but is sending a guy to the postseason leagues something that is written into his contract or is it just understood that you work for the Pirates and you do what we say?

    • sportsdrenched.com - Sep 21, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      I think it’s similar to being assigned to your minor league team. Missed all summer holding out, better get some work in.

      I know Bubba Starling will be there too.

  2. clydeserra - Sep 21, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    I have heard that it is an offensive league too, and seen some of the players lines that support it.

    But, why would that matter? He is going to pitch they way he pitches. He, nor the pirates should be concerned with results.

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