The AFL Rising Stars game wasn’t kind to Gerrit Cole. The Pittsburgh Pirates right hander was hit for two home runs and five runs total, getting just two outs before being lifted due to a single inning pitch limit.
Cole started off by giving up a double to Kevin Mattison. The ball bounced past the first baseman, and Mattison hustled his way to a double. Cole’s next pitch was a 99 MPH fastball that Nick Franklin hit to center field for a two run homer. He followed that with a single on a chopper up the middle. Junior Lake fielded the ball, but didn’t have a play. However, he tried to make the play, and made a wild throw to first, allowing the runner to advance to second.
The first out came on a strikeout to the next batter. Cole got a swinging strike in the dirt on a 92 MPH cut fastball. He followed that up with a five pitch walk to Michael Choice, and then gave up his second homer of the game on another 99 MPH fastball. Cole finished his day with a groundout, before being lifted due to a single inning pitch limit of 29 pitches.
Cole gave up five runs, all earned, on a walk and four hits, with one strikeout and two home runs. He was mostly using his fastball, throwing 15 four seam fastballs, all in the 97-99 MPH range, with seven of those pitches hitting 99 MPH. He threw two changeups and three sliders, with nine cut fastballs. His command was off, with 16 strikes and 13 balls, including a few elevated pitches.
Robbie Grossman also had a rough night, going 0-for-3 with a walk. Grossman struck out looking in his first at-bat, going up against left hander Danny Hultzen. In his next at-bat he grounded out to first base against former Pirates prospect Nathan Adcock. Grossman walked on five pitches in his third at-bat, then reached on an error in his fourth at-bat.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.