Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fantasy Focus Prospect Edition: Gerrit Cole RHP

I've had a soft spot for Gerrit Cole ever since he stiff-armed the Yankees, refusing to even listen to an offer after they drafted him in the first round out of HS, in favor of enrolling at UCLA.  3 years later, after a stellar college career, Cole was the #1 overall choice in the draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011.

Gerrit signed late in 2011 and did not make his pro debut until 2012.  He started out on the high A Florida State League, moved up to AA mid-season and made one AAA appearance on Sept. 1.  His composite line for the season was 9-7, 2.80, 132.0 IP, 45 BB, 136 K, GO/AO= 1.42.  His college ratios were similar.

Gerrit has a classic pitchers frame at 6'4", 220 lbs.  His facial features are reminiscent of Roger Clemens while his stance, windup and delivery are somewhat similar to Matt Cain's.  His ticket is a fastball that sits in the high 90's and has touched 102 MPH.  He is strong enough to take his velocity deep into games.  He also has a wipeout slider and a solid changeup but throws mostly fastballs.

From an eyewitness scouting report in Minor League Ball from 7/2/2012, Cole's FB ranged from 93-99 with low effort.  His velocity increased as the game progressed and he hit 99 MPH with his 86'th pitch.

The rap on Gerrit is that he has never put up numbers quite as dominant as it perhaps seems he should given his stuff.  In other words, he scouts better than he performs. He can occasionally lose his release point and get wild and gets hittable at times.  Oh, and Ricky Oropesa took him deep twice in college as  Ricky's mom loves to remind me.

It seems almost certain that Gerrit Cole will make his MLB debut sometime in 2013.  The only question is whether he will start the season with the Pirates or in AAA.  It seems that unless there is something specific the Pirates want him to work on in AAA, he would be an upgrade to their rotation while at the same time polishing his game in the majors.  From a fantasy perspective, I play in a H2H league with no limit on IP.  I use all my bench spots as an extended starting rotation.  Gerrit will almost certainly be an upgrade on my 10'th best SP.  I will be watching him closely and looking to add him to my fantasy roster as soon as I know he is coming to the majors.


  1. he is also a part of the giants family by almost marriage and was at the ws games in sf

    bucs may hold him back to keep his clock from ticking

    big strong kid, should be a horse but does need to work on secondary pitches...which will be accomplished in the majors

    ricky o knows him very well...cant wait to see them face up

    also hope he serves a couple up to craw

    btw, did anyone watch the 10th inning when it was on pbs? somehow i missed it

    and want to share this vid with all of you

    the above child is going to be a ball fan for life


  2. I think Cole or Taillon is the kind of talent necessary to land that big fish Mike Stanton. The Bucs should decide to keep one and go get Stanton with the other and some of those other guys.

    1. Pitching is what they need to go deep into the playoffs, so if I were a Pirates fan, I would not go for that trade.

      I agree with bacci that the bucs will hold him back to keep him from super 2-ing, looks like teams will have to wait into July before activating the clock, to be safe, early June would be too risky, maybe latter half of June might work.

    2. If they can time them both to go rock and roll at the same time, sure, keep them. But if Taillon needs a lot of seasoning, I say go grab Stanton for a huge jolt to that lineup. I agree with the pitching/defense rule, but there you have to look at each situation. The Pirates have a pretty decent group, they need a shot in the arm to bust through the August doldrums that killed em the past 2 years. I think Stanton is that shot. Throw Cole, Cutch, their scrappy 2B and Stanton into the mix, they have a good closer, a decent pen, and some average starters. I'd sell Taillon and some picks down the river for a shot at the big guy.

    3. In any case, I agree with the assessment on another post that Stanton is not even on the trading block, I don't see Loria trading away his one last big draw to the team.