UCLA pitching duo drafted in top three
Cole goes No. 1, Bauer No. 3 in first round of 2011 MLB Draft
SECAUCUS, N.J. -- The Pittsburgh Pirates selected hard-throwing UCLA righty Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 pick in the baseball draft Monday night.
Cole, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior, posted mediocre numbers this season for the Bruins (6-8, 3.31 ERA), but has what many consider to be the best pure stuff in the draft. His college teammate, right-hander Trevor Bauer, wasn’t far behind, going third overall to Arizona.
Cole was a first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2008, but refused to listen to an offer and instead attended UCLA—as he insisted to teams he would.
The Pirates, picking No. 1 for the fourth time in franchise history, are hoping Cole ends up being the ace of their pitching staff. He has a fastball that’s consistently clocked at 95 mph and was up around 100 at times late this season. Cole’s changeup and slider are also outstanding.
“Gerrit Cole has the size, strength, overall package of stuff and mentality to develop into a top-of-the-rotation major league starting pitcher,” said Greg Smith, the Pirates’ director of scouting.
Cole is the latest promising young arm that Pittsburgh, which finished with baseball’s worst record a year ago, has added in the last two drafts. The Pirates took a pair of high school right-handers with their first two picks last year in Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, giving them three potential front-line starters.
With the second choice, the Seattle Mariners tabbed Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen, the Atlantic Coast Conference pitcher of the year the last two seasons. Watching with family and friends, Hultzen looked stunned when the pick was announced, putting his hands on his head.
“This is completely unexpected. It’s a huge honor, though,” Hultzen said in an interview on MLB Network. “I’m very excited. … I really don’t know what to say right now. I’m completely speechless.”
Hultzen, a junior, is 11-3 with a 1.57 ERA and 148 strikeouts while leading the top-ranked Cavaliers to the super regionals of the NCAA tournament.
Arizona, which had two of the first seven picks, couldn’t pass up Bauer at No. 3. The Pac-10 pitcher of the year outshined Cole statistically, going 13-2 with a 1.27 ERA and a Division I-leading and Pac-10-record 203 strikeouts. He ended the season having thrown nine straight complete games.
With the seventh pick, the Diamondbacks took another pitcher in right-hander Archie Bradley from Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma. Bradley went 12-1 and fanned 133 against just 11 walks in 71 1-3 innings while posting a 0.29 ERA this year. He was also considered one of the country’s best quarterback prospects and is committed to play football at Oklahoma.
At No. 4, Baltimore selected Bradley’s good buddy, Dylan Bundy, another high school pitcher from Oklahoma. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound righty went 11-0 with 158 strikeouts and only five walks in 71 innings for Owasso High School.
It was the first time since the amateur draft began in 1965 that the first four selections were all pitchers.
Kansas City ended the run on the mound by taking a local high school outfielder in Bubba Starling. The Royals have had their eye on the star out of Gardner-Edgerton High School in Kansas since he was 14. And, for good reason.
The 6-5, 200-pound Starling is one of the most impressive all-around athletes in the draft and has eye-popping power. He’ll now have a difficult decision: Starling has already committed to Nebraska to play quarterback after rushing for 2,471 yards and 31 touchdowns, and throwing for 790 yards and eight TDs last season.
Anthony Rendon, a slick-fielding and sweet-swinging third baseman from Rice, celebrated his 21st birthday by going sixth overall to Washington. He was hampered by a strained shoulder for most of this season, limiting him to DH— although he played some second base in the postseason. Still, he hit .327 with six homers and 37 RBIs. Teams also constantly pitched around him, as evidenced by his Division I-leading 80 walks.
The last time the Pirates had the top pick in the draft they selected pitcher Bryan Bullington in 2002. They also took pitcher Kris Benson at No. 1 in 1996 and infielder Jeff King in 1986.
“We’re working hard to never pick No. 1,” Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said.
Washington chose slugger Bryce Harper with the first pick last year.
|4||Orioles||Dylan Bundy||RHP||Owassa H.S. (Okla.)||6-1||200|
|5||Royals||Bubba Starling||OF||Gardner Edgerton H.S. (Kan.)||6-4||180|
|7||Diamondbacks||Archie Bradley||RHP||Broken Arrow H.S. (Okla.)||6-4||225|
|8||Indians||Francisco Lindor||SS||Monteverde Academy (Fla.)||5-11||175|
|9||Cubs||Javier Baez||SS||Arlington Country Day (Fla.)||6-0||180|
|10||Padres||Cory Spangenberg||2B||Indian River JC||6-0||185|
|13||Mets||Brandon Nimmo||OF||Cheyenne East H.S. (Wyo.)||6-3||180|
|14||Marlins||Jose Fernandez||RHP||Alonso H.S. (Fla.)||6-3||240|
|15||Brewers||Jed Bradley||LHP||Georgia Tech||6-3||220|
|19||Red Sox||Matt Barnes||RHP||Connecticut||6-4||205|
|21||Blue Jays||Tyler Beede||RHP||Lawrence Academny (Mass.)||6-4||200|
|24||Rays||Taylor Guerrieri||RHP||Spring Valley H.S. (S.C.)||6-3||210|
|25||Padres||Joe Ross||RHP||Bishop O'Dowd H.S. (Calif.)||6-2||180|
|26||Red Sox||Blake Swihart||C||Sue Cleveland H.S. (N.M.)||6-0||175|
|27||Reds||Robert Stephenson||RHP||Alhambra H.S. (Calif.)||6-2||185|
|28||Braves||Sean Gilmartin||LHP||Florida State||6-3||195|
|29||Giants||Joe Panik||SS||St. John's (N.Y.)||6-2||195|
|30||Twins||Levi Michael||SS||North Carolina||5-10||170|
|32||Rays||Jake Hager||SS||Sierra Vista H.S. (Nev.)||6-1||185|
|33||Rangers||Kevin Matthews||LHP||Richmond Hill H.S. (Ga.)||5-11||180|
|34||Nationals||Brian Goodwin||OF||Miami-Dade JC||6-0||190|
|35||Blue Jays||Jacob Anderson||OF||Chino H.S. (Calif.)||6-4||190|
|36||Red Sox||Henry Owens||LHP||Edison H.S. (Calif.)||6-5||195|
|38||Rays||Brandon Martin||SS||Santiago H.S. (Calif.)||5-11||175|
|39||Phillies||Larry Greene||OF||Berrien Co. H.S. (Ga.)||6-0||235|
|40||Red Sox||Jackie Bradley Jr.||OF||South Carolina||5-10||175|
|41||Rays||Tyler Goeddel||3B||St. Francis H.S. (Calif.)||6-4||170|
|42||Rays||Jeff Ames||RHP||Lower Columbia C.C.||6-4||220|
|43||Diamondbacks||Jeff Chafin||LHP||Kent State||6-2||205|
|44||Mets||Michael Fulmer||RHP||Deer Creek H.S. (Okla.)||6-3||200|
|45||Rockies||Trevor Story||SS||Irving H.S. (Texas)||6-1||175|
|46||Blue Jays||Joe Musgrove||RHP||Grossmont H.S. (Texas)||6-5||230|
|47||White Sox||Keenyn Walker||OF||Central Arizona C.C.||6-3||193|
|48||Padres||Michael Kelly||RHP||West Boca Raton H.S. (Fla.)||6-4||185|
|49||Giants||Kyle Crick||RHP||Sherman H.S. (Texas)||6-4||220|
|50||Twins||Travis Harrison||3B||Tustin H.S. (Calif.)||6-2||215|
|51||Yankees||Dante Bichette Jr.||3B||Orangewood Christian H.S. (Fla.)||6-1||215|
|52||Rays||Blake Snell||LHP||Shorewood H.S. (Wash.)||6-4||200|
|53||Blue Jays||Dwight Smith||OF||McIntosh H.S. (Ga.)||5-11||180|
|54||Padres||Brett Austin||C||Providence H.S. (N.C.)||6-1||190|
|55||Twins||Hudson Boyd||RHP||Bishop Verot H.S. (Fla.)||6-2||235|
|56||Rays||Kes Carter||OF||Western Kentucky||6-1||190|
|57||Blue Jays||Kevin Comer||RHP||Seneca H.S. (N.J.)||6-4||200|
|58||Padres||Jace Peterson||SS||McNeese State||6-1||190|
|60||Rays||James Harris Jr.||OF||Oakland Tech H.S. (Calif.)||6-1||175|