First Pitch

First Pitch: Is Gerrit Cole the Most Important Player For the Pirates Going Forward?

First Pitch: Is Gerrit Cole the Most Important Player For the Pirates Going Forward?

Gerrit Cole will make his debut today. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

When Gerrit Cole makes his major league debut today, it will be the first time the Pirates have graduated their top prospect to the majors since 2010 with Pedro Alvarez. Since then the system has been led by Jameson Taillon (2011) and Cole (2012, 2013). We've seen other prospects come up between then and now, but promoting the top prospect in the system is a bit different.

Cole is also a bit different than when the Pirates promoted Alvarez or Andrew McCutchen. We've seen this year the value of pitching. The Pirates are winning this year largely because of how great their pitching staff has been. They've had a few good guys on offense at times, but the pitching has been solid all around. This isn't new. Last year the offense was pretty much Andrew McCutchen all year, and they were competing most of the year due to their pitching.

Gerrit Cole has the potential to be an ace. In last week's draft podcast, Jim Calli...

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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 AccuScore.com, 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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