Thirty Prospects in Thirty Days covers the top prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving a brief overview of who they are as a player and their minor league statistics (so far).
The consensus number one prospect in the Pirates’ pipelines, Gerrit Cole is a 21-year old power right-hander. Cole has excellent control of his high-90s four seam fastball, as well as a mid-90s two seamer, as well as a slider and a change-up, both 84-87 MPH, which are both plus pitches. In his final season at UCLA as a junior, Cole struck out 119 batters through 114.1 innings, while having a 3.31 ERA.
Cole’s sider appears to be a fastball until the last second, tailing away from right handed hitters and breaking on two planes. His changeup is a very deceptive pitch, as Cole doesn’t tip his pitch, and the ball appears to be a fastball out of his hand. Cole can keep his velocity, 95-98 on the four-seam fastball, 92-94 on his two-seamer, 84-87 on his slider and change-up, late into the game.
While his velocity doesn’t dip, Cole’s control does. Although he still finds the strike zone, he isn’t as good at catching corners and keeping the ball low deep into ballgames. A nitpick about his slider is that he has trouble throwing it for strikes at times. His slider inside to righties can bore in too much at times, potentially being a “on the hands” pitch rather than a “in on the hands” pitch.