On a team that has a rich history of botched No. 1 draft picks, it’s time for Gerrit Cole to prove the doubters wrong. Anyone who has seen him pitch live will tell you that’s a task that he’s ready to take on. Cole came to the Pittsburgh Pirates as their No. 1 selection (No. 1 overall) in 2011, and is steadily rising through the organization, hoping to make his MLB debut sometime this season.
Cole brings a lot to the table for the Pirates. He throws with great velocity, and has shown he can overpower hitters in the minors with his fastball. He has a slider that has very good movement, he needs to work on keeping it down in the zone for it to be effective on the major league level. His change up is a pitch that is effective, but needs to be thrown with more consistent mechanics.
Given his development and potential ceiling, the Pirates need to tread carefully before rushing him up to the majors. With spring training and the beginning of the season to continue developing his control, Cole could be a perfect candidate for a late season call-up.
That decision is really going to be up to him, however. Does he become comfortable relying on his raw power to get hitters out in the minors, or does he take that next step to become what a lot of scouts see him becoming: a top tier pitcher in the majors?
That choice is ultimately his.