Gerrit Cole to the AFL
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that right handed pitcher Gerrit Cole will be pitching in the Arizona Fall League this off-season. As I noted the other day, Cole was a strong candidate to attend the AFL. He was listed as attending on the instructional league rosters, but no official announcement had been made.
Cole signed at the deadline, while his UCLA teammate, Trevor Bauer, signed earlier in the process and pitched 25.2 innings in the pros this year, reaching the AA level two months after the draft. Cole should see around 16-20 innings in the AFL, based on the workloads of other pitchers that have played in the league, which should help make up for the fact that he didn’t pitch in 2011 after June. That could help his transition next year in to the pros, and might even speed up his ascent to the AA level.