Prospect Notebook: Cole Goes Four Strong Against Yankees

Gerrit Cole took the mound at Pirate City today for a start against the New York Yankees’ A-ball team. Cole made his last start against the Yankees’ Double-A team earlier in the week.

The outing for the 2011 first overall pick was a strong one. Cole went four innings, allowing one run on four hits, with no walks and one strikeout. He threw 53 pitches, with 38 going for strikes.

In the first inning Cole got two ground outs and a fly out to put the Yankees down in order. He came out in the second and got three straight ground outs, needing only 11 pitches to get through the inning. His third inning started with a single, but the right-hander recovered with two ground outs and a strikeout. The third inning can be seen below.

The right-hander ran in to trouble in the fourth, giving up three hits and his only run of the day, thanks in part to a broken bat single. After giving up two singles in a row with one out, Cole threw a 96 MPH fastball for his 53rd pitch, getting an easy double play ball to end his day.

Nine of his 12 outs today were on ground outs.

Cole threw fastballs in 47 of his 53 pitches. His fastball ranged from 92-99 MPH. He only hit 99 once, and was mostly sitting at 95-97, touching 97 five times. He struggled a bit with some of his pitches, looking at times like he was trying to over-power the pitch. That happened with the 99 MPH fastball, which ended up in the dirt, and blocked by catcher Jonathan Schwind. He elevated a few pitches, but was otherwise effective when his velocity was in the 95-96 range.

Cole threw several sliders, with his fastest one coming in at 89 MPH. He also threw a few change-ups, mostly sitting in the mid-80s. He appeared to be using two different fastballs, with one looking like a typical four seam fastball, and the other sitting in the lower 90s and showing a lot more movement.

Cole’s next probable start is scheduled to be on March 29th at Clearwater, going up against the Phillies A-ball team.


Zack Dodson went four innings today, and threw 71 pitches in the process. That’s about what starters throw in the Pirates’ minor league system during the regular season, which shows that Dodson is getting to the point where he is stretched out. In the last week a lot of pitchers have moved to the 50-pitch range, but Dodson is one of the first to move beyond that number.

The left-hander struggled with his command some today. He threw 18 pitches in the first inning, then 18 in the second. His third inning was quicker, with only 14 pitches. He finished off the day with 21 pitches in the fourth inning.

Dodson gave up one run on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. His fastball had a big range, going from 84-91 MPH, although he mostly sat around 87-88 MPH throughout the start.


**Dan Grovatt hit a home run today, a two run shot to right field that was well struck.

**Josh Bell had a good day at the plate, with two doubles. He finished off the day with his second double, a line-drive down the third base line.

**The wind is rough here, and you see routine pop-ups being dropped on a daily basis. Kirk Singer made a nice play today on a pop up in foul territory. Singer, playing shortstop, ranged to foul territory near the third base bag, and stuck with the ball as it drifted around in the wind.  It doesn’t sound like much, but after seeing routine pop ups dropped daily by players from all teams, you kind of appreciate how tough that play can be down here.

**Ryan Hornback showed off a strong arm, making a few good, accurate throws down to second base on stolen base attempts.

**Gift Ngoepe made a nice play, ranging to his right at shortstop for a diving/sliding pick. He got up spinning and made a great throw to first to get the runner. The dive, the spin, and the throw were almost in one non-stop motion.

**Tyler Waldron was 90-92 MPH today.

**Joan Montero was 92-95 MPH, mostly sitting 93-94.

**Aneudy Merejo pitched an inning, sitting at 92-93 MPH. He also flashed a mid-70s curveball a few times, which acted like a slurve. He threw one change-up, sitting at 85 MPH. His pitches had good movement, and he seemed comfortable with his curve, throwing on a 3-2 count at one point.


Gerrit Cole’s third inning today, which featured one hit and his only strikeout.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Lee Young

    Kirk Singer? Is he the new beat writer? lol

    Tim, I don’t have has good an eye as you do. After reading ESPN the Mag’s article on the ‘dreaded inverse W’ that Strasburg, et al, have, could you tell me if Cole or Taillon have it?

    I don’t think they do, but I need some reassurance this morn. :)


  • reddfoxx1

    Is Cole going to start at West Virginia?

    • Kevin_Creagh

      No.  Both Cole and Taillon will be starting at High A Bradenton.  Cole, however, will be moved up to Altoona sooner than Taillon.

      My personal opinion is that Cole will be in AA Altoona by June 1st.

    • Tim Williams


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