I've been strong on the mind of drafting Rendon with the top pick, but Cole is making my brain start to hurt on who should really be taken. A further look at Cole may provide all we need to know about why he should be strongly and i mean strongly considered for the pick.
Or is it so curious? Gerrit Cole could very well be the Pirates #1 overall selection in this years draft. Not like Cole hasn't been here before. He was taken by the Yankees in the first round of the 2008 draft. Passing up the chance to sign with the Yanks to play at UCLA, Cole has turned his once high stock into the highest stock it could possibly be, the top pick in the draft.
Gerrit Cole is a strong throwing RHP junior at UCLA. He stands tall at 6-4, 220. Cole has touched 99-100 on the gun and has even been clocked in the high 90s late in ball games, proving he can keep the heat up all game long.
What really needs to be considered is how will his arm hold up and how dominate has Cole really been. His FR year he threw 85IP, and as a SO he bumped that up to 123IP, but following along on UCLAs website, he also pitched in the summer of 2010, 25IP for team USA, meaning he threw a total of 148IP last year. Thats a 63 IP increase! (
If my memory serves me correct, which I may be completely wrong on this but I do believe the normal progression from year to year is about a 40IP increase. I'm not saying that going 63 will kill his arm but its something to think about as I'm sure Cole will see another increase to his innings this year. Of course this case can be made for any pitcher although college pitchers are more likely to see their arms abused as the coach and team are in it to win now as players future potential is hardly considered at a lot of the NCAA baseball programs.
Another thing to consider is that to start the season off Cole is already going deep into games. Of course, if he can do this and keep his pitch count low there is no problem there. Take a look at his statistical links to look over his numbers for the past few years found here:
2011 Season stats
2009/2010 Season Stats
One more note of interest is this: Arm Action woes? Many scouts consider is quick arm action to mean its only a matter of time before an injury occurs. Its about half way down the page where the quote is found. Its just something to think about as the season goes on and the draft gets closer.