Gerrit Cole Watch

The countdown is on:

14 days

It may seem hard to believe, but there are just two weeks until the first official spring training workout.

Pirates’ in-game announcer and all-around good guy Joe Klimchak tweeted about a few players who have already arrived at Pirate City:

 

It should be noted that the Pirates invited their top two pitching prospects, Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, to this year’s big league camp. We’ll focus on Cole, who’s projected to be the first of the two to make the Majors. Thus, we bring you the first edition of “Gerrit Cole Watch.”

We’ll be going all in with Cole this season, as he hopefully travels through the final leg of his minor league tour. He’s not expected to break camp with the club, but many project him to get the call at some point this season. Our goal is to create a contest about when you think he’ll make his MLB debut, with the closest guesser winning tickets to a future game (more on this at a later date).

Here are Cole’s 2012 stats, his first year in pro ball:

Tm Lev W L ERA G IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
Bradenton A+ 5 1 2.55 13 67.0 53 24 19 5 21 69 1.104 2.8 9.3
Altoona AA 3 6 2.90 12 59.0 54 28 19 2 23 60 1.305 3.5 9.2
Indianapolis AAA 1 0 4.50 1 6.0 6 3 3 0 1 7 1.167 1.5 10.5
1 Season 9 7 2.80 26 132.0 113 55 41 7 45 136 1.197 3.1 9.3

The 22 year old UCLA product can light up the radar guns. Check out this scouting report from FanGraphs:

“More recently in instructs, Cole only went two innings but put up the big numbers on the radar gun you hope to see. He was 96-99 in the first inning, hitting a 101 and then sitting a paltry 96-98 in the second inning. Cole got two strikeouts, two groundballs, elevated with purpose and his fastball had life down in the zone and cut to his glove side. He threw one slider, a plus-plus yakker at 88 mph, but more importantly he subtly improved his delivery.

Cole has a big, sturdy frame at 6’4, 220 pounds that looks like it was designed to absorb thousands of innings. He creates velocity by breaking his hands late, loading his hips and front shoulder before exploding to the plate with a lightning quick arm. It’s amazing how good Cole is at keeping his arm in sync with his body.”

The rest of the report, which is very optimistic and gets us excited about his future, can be read HERE.

We’ve been waiting since June 6th, 2011 for Cole to step on the mound at PNC Park. That moment seems to be relatively close now, and hopefully it comes in 2013.

This will be the first of many “Gerrit Cole Watch” posts. Best of luck to Cole this season.

62 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

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