If there is one piece that the Pittsburgh Pirates may be lacking going into the 2013 season, it could be depth in starting pitching. Pittsburgh has a prospect that is about ready to get into MLB who could change the future for the Pirates in Gerrit Cole. It is likely that Cole will start 2013 in Triple-A, but I think that is only so the team doesn’t start the clock on him. When Cole does make it to Pittsburgh, he is going to be counted on to get the Pirates to the playoffs.
Cole went 9-7 last season with a 2.80 ERA in his first season at the minor league level, while moving all the way from high-Single A to one start at the Triple-A level. Cole is definitely a power pitcher, averaging over a strikeout an inning. This is easily the best prospect that the Pirates have in their minor league system and while he will be treated with kid gloves, there is zero doubt that the team is going to want to promote Cole as quickly as they can.
I think Cole will be in Pittsburgh by early June, if not sooner. There is simply too much talent there, and I believe the 22-year old will be able to handle big league pressure. It is only a matter of time before Pittsburgh starts having some homegrown talent on their major league roster. The beginning of that string comes when Cole shows up in a Pirates uniform, and with that will come a whole new set of expectations.