Gerrit Cole, a junior right-handed pitcher from UCLA, has been drafted No. 1 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 MLB Draft on Monday evening inside Studio 42, in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Cole, who was selected in the first round on the 2008 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, is 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA, 119 strikeouts and 24 walks in 114.1 innings this season. In addition, Cole has thrown four complete games and has allowed one run or less in seven of his 16 starts this year.
In three seasons at UCLA, Cole has a 21-20 record with a 3.38 career ERA, 376 strikeouts and 114 walks in 322.1 innings pitched throughout 50 appearances. Cole's best season came as a sophomore, going 11-4 with a 3.37 ERA and 153 strikeouts in123 innings spread throughout 19 appearances.
Last summer, Cole played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National team, going 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA in five games, four of which he started. Cole struck out 23 while walking just four in 25 innings with the team.
Cole was a three-year varsity baseball letter winner at Orange Lutheran High School. In his senior seas at Orange, Cole finished with an 8-2 record and a 0.46 ERA, 121 strikeouts and 18 walks in 75.2 innings.
It's not hard to see why Gerrit Cole comes into the draft as the consensus top pick. It's one thing to have a high-90's fastball, and another entirely to have a changeup just as impressive. Even if his slider doesn't develop any further, he'll still have the tools necessary to anchor any staff. He may come with less hype, but Cole ranks up there with Strasburg and Harper as one of the few players worth dropping 100 games for.