Gerrit Cole isn’t the only Cole expected to get drafted this June. Probably goes without saying that Gerrit is the most promising Cole, but there are three other collegiate Cole’s with mid-round, middle relief upside worth mentioning.
Texas SR RHP Cole Green is the best current pitcher of our Cole trio. His fastball sits consistently between 88-91 FB and he can muscle it up to 92-93 on the rarest of occasions. His biggest strengths are his pinpoint fastball command, plus control, and much improved above-average upper-70s slider that flashes plus. Throw in the fact he is a short righthanded pitcher and it sure sounds like Green will be typecast as a potential relief candidate, right? Short righties who pound the strike zone with that sinker/slider combo always have a chance to fill a bullpen niche in the pros. Then again, Green’s success as a college starter and the improvement of his changeup could help him work as a pro starter. Whether a pro team considers him a potential fifth starter or, more likely, a middle reliever, it is still highly unlikely he’ll approach his 2010 draft status (4th round to Detroit). Lastly, and take this for what it’s worth, every scouting report on Green mentions his reputation as a groundball pitcher, but the data I’ve compiled doesn’t fit that description at all. Wonder what the guys at College Splits would say to that?
BYU SO RHP Taylor Cole has the biggest fastball of the group (94-95 peak) and was the most heavily recruited out of high school. Lost development time has left him with not little besides that big fastball, but there is some promise with both his slider and changeup. A team will have to be really patient with Cole, but his upside, relatively fresh arm, and the unique path he’s taken since graduating from high school all help him stand out amongst his mid-round contemporaries. I know Taylor is a personal favorite of many followers of the draft, so don’t be shocked if his name starts getting bandied about as a high rising helium guy heading into June.
Notre Dame SR RHP Cole Johnson has a fastball that sits 88-92 FB and a good SL. Average fastball (maybe a tick above) and a good secondary pitch combined with a history of strong performance at a well known college program is often a pretty nice recipe for looks as a reliever on draft day. Johnson has the first two things down, but is still working on that pesky bit about having a history of strong performance. Underwhelming college stats to date (2010: 5.46 K/9 – 3.16 BB/9 – 4.69 FIP – 31.1 IP) have kept his stock down, but his solid start in 2011 could get teams back on the bandwagon.