Gerrit Cole has been the next big thing in Major League Baseball for as long as he has been an adult. Actually it goes back to high school. All of that is in the past now as the Pittsburgh Pirates have called him to the major league roster for good. He will take his place in the rotation as many thought he would before the end of the season. What impact he will have remains to be seen but this isn’t a young wild thrower we are talking about. He has been a top prospect since anyone can remember. This promotion to the big leagues is coming at the perfect time for he and the Pirates.
Sometimes when a prospect is drafted out of high school, he will choose to go to college to improve his standing in the draft and thereby, his paycheck. That was the case with Cole, well kind of. He was drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees but it wasn’t in the later rounds. It was the 28th pick of the first round. Even then Cole was a first round draft pick but he chose to go to college anyway. A few years later the Pirates took him first overall in the 2011 draft.
Now just two years later Cole is obviously ready to try that next big step. He had great numbers in Spring Training and nearly made the rotation from the start. I think it was a good choice to start him in the minors though so that he doesn’t have a full season of big league pressure on his shoulders. He joins a staff of good young pitchers led by the veteran A.J. Burnett and young Jeff Locke. Cole should step right in line with those guys and be an impact player from the start.
His first opponent of his major league career will be the San Francisco Giants. That could seem more daunting than it is for one key reason; the game is at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. That is kind of important for the Pirates but extremely important for the Giants who are only 12 – 18 on the road this season. Cole has them right where he wants them. Now he just has to execute the moment he has waited his entire baseball life for.