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 o...

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