The chants of fans approval and criticisms were not heard at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Save that for the NFL draft.
Ping pong balls did not determine the draft order.
Save that for the NBA draft.
Nor were there green rooms, specialized draft hats or tricked out Armani suits. Rather, this draft, the MLB draft, was headlined by some of the game’s greatest legends and a new class of potential major league ballplayers.
Cole, a right handed pitcher from UCLA, went first overall to Pittsburgh. Cole is said to have the best “natural stuff” in this draft class. It took more than that generic term to take Cole, though.
He stands at 6-4 and weighs in at 220 pounds. That large and powerful frame may have been the biggest drawing factor in the selection. It surely wasn’t his 6-8 record and 3.31 ERA from his last year as a Bruin. But, his 376 strikeouts in 322.1 innings through a 3-year career opened eyes. Add a mid 90s fastball and strong breaking pitches and Cole could be a unique pitcher in a few years.
Obviously Cole doesn’t have the flair of name recognition of the two No. 1 picks that preceded him (Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper). He will, however, be forever grouped with three other pitchers chosen directly after him. Danny Hultzen (Mariners), Trevor Bauer (Diamondbacks) and Dylan Bundy (Orioles) all are unique pitchers in their own way and have the distinction of being the only four pitcher chosen in a row to start the MLB Draft.
A decade from now, one of these pitchers will have at least one Cy Young trophy sitting on a shelf of their five story mansion.
I sure hope Gerrit Cole gets a space cleared off soon.
photo credits: pirateprospects.com