Pirates Promote Top Pick Gerrit Cole to Double-A

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the team’s AA affiliate in Altoona. Technically, the promotion won’t occur until Wednesday when he’s scheduled to start for the Indians.

The Pirates took the righty with the top overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft

The 22-year-old threw five shutout innings last night for High-A Bradenton, striking out seven batters and walking just one. The outing lowered the Florida State League All-Star’s ERA to 2.55, with 69 strikeouts in 67 innings.

Before the season, some – myself included – consider(ed) Cole the team’s second-best prospect, behind fellow starter Jameson Taillon, also an FSL All-Star.

The Pirates took the 20-year-old Taillon with the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, immediately behind outfield phenom Bryce Harper.

Many believed Taillon would move through the system at least as quickly as Cole, but he’s hit a snag as of late.

In Taillon’s first seven starts with Bradenton, he had a 1.47 ERA and 36 strikeouts in as many innings. Over his last six starts, though, the 6’7″ fireballer has allowed 28 earned runs and struck out just 26 batters.

Tim Williams at Pirates Prospects has a good read about Taillon’s current struggles and why they might be happening.

While Taillon tries to sort out his current problems in Bradenton, let’s hope Gerrit Cole and his power stuff takes well to Double-A opposition.

Williams’ current projections for MLB ETA are mid-2013 for Cole and late 2013 for Taillon.

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