Gerrit Cole, the first overall pick of the 2011 MLB draft, is currently making his much-anticipated MLB debut tonight against the San Francisco Giants. Cole was excellent for the Pirates’ AAA affiliate, going 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and maintained a 47/28 K/BB ratio. In 2012, between three of the the Pirates’ minor league affiliates, he went 9-7 with a 2.80 ERA with 136 strikeouts in just 132 innings pitched. For obvious reasons, Pirates fans were very excited to see Cole take the hill. He did not disappoint.
Facing his first hitter, Gregor Blanco, Cole looked like a veteran pitcher up there, getting Blanco quickly to 0-2 before easily disposing off him with a 99 mile per hour fastball that he blew by Blanco. Cole began to struggle a bit in the second, but quickly righted the ship, not allowing a single hit or walk in his last 2 innings pitched. Currently, he’s pitched 4 innings while giving up just 4 hits and no walks.
However, there is something that makes his debut even more impressive. Coming up to the plate with bases loaded, after Clint Barmes did what Clint Barmes usually does in that type of situation- nothing (this time, it was a popup) things looked grim for the Bucs against two time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. However, Cole worked the count to 3-2 and then muscled a hit into right field in his first Major League at bat, earning himself 2 RBIs in the process.