Last week in my rundown of Dylan Bundy I touched on the fact that the Royals are no doubt having many internal discussions related to whether they want to go high upside HS pitcher, or quick to the bigs College pitcher. Bundy was as good of a high school prospect as there is and now I’m going to go over one of the UCLA aces that is a projected top 10 pick in next month’s draft – Gerrit Cole.
Cole might just be the most major league ready college pitcher in the draft. When looking at the Royals system it is hard to find a comparison to Cole as the Royals (at least recently) have been selecting the high upside HS pitchers. However, there is an exception to that which is the best comparison I can give to Cole and that is Aaron Crow. Crow was looked at as a very major league ready pitcher coming out of college the Royals were hoping he would work through the system quickly and become a front end starter. Crow has had struggles with his 3rd pitch and his starter numbers were not all that great. That said Crow has shown to be a dominant reliever at the major league level.
I think the hope would be that Cole has a better chance of being a starter at the major league level than Crow did and hopefully his arrival at the big league club would coincide with the likes of Montomery and Lamb and the rest. That is the hope anyway. Here is the scouting report on Cole (As always, I have not seen Cole in person but this is the info I have compile from reading about him across the interwebs.)
Gerrit Cole – 6’4″ 220 lbs RHP
Fastball: Very good fastball sitting in the 94-96 mph range and tops out occasionally at 98. It also has good natural movement as a 2 seamer but can occasionally throw the 4 seamer.
Curveball: Good with proper rotations that hits in the 87-88 mph range.
Slider: Has two versions of his slider that can tail in either direction as well as a change up that could eventually develop into a solid major league pitch.
Cole needs to work on his consistency with his command. Shown the ability to throw better change ups and curveballs with confidence so if he can keep the confidence up those can be effective weapons. He is very competetive and his ceiling is that of a front end starter with a floor as a back of the rotation innings eater.