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MLB Draft: Pirates select Gerrit Cole with first pick


Alex RodriguezJoe MauerStephen StrasburgGERRIT COLE.

Less than 24 hours after his college season ended abruptly, UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole has moved on to the pros, in grand style. Cole joined the likes of Rodriguez and Mauer, Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him with the top pick in the 2011 MLB draft on Monday.

The Bruins’ loss Sunday ended their season at the Los Angeles NCAA regional. Cole, a junior, pitched in their regional opener Friday, a 3-0 loss to San Francisco.

Cole’s fastball has topped out at 102 mph. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound right-hander ended his junior season with a 6-8 record and a 3.31 earned-run average. He joins a Pittsburgh franchise that hasn’t enjoyed a winning season since 1992.

Cole was initially drafted out of Orange Lutheran High in 2008 by the Yankees but opted to play at UCLA, making him draft eligible after his junior season.


Players begin the long journey to major leagues

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-- Douglas Farmer

Photo: Hard-throwing Gerrit Cole works against South Carolina in the 2010 College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Credit: Nati Harnik / Associated Press

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