In 2008, young high school pitcher Gerrit Cole was drafted by the team of his dreams, the New York Yankees. Cole turned down the opportunity, and the guaranteed millions of dollars, opting instead to attend UCLA.
In fact, Cole never even gave the Yankees a chance to make a financial offer.
Together with his father, Mark, Gerrit charted various pathways to his future. They painstakingly pored over the positives and the negatives, charting career comparisons and compiling financial analyses before ultimately deciding that attending college was the best possible decision to ensure Gerrit posterity.
Once the decision was made, there was no looking back.
The Yankees were aware of this decision before they took a chance and selected him 28th in the first round of the 2008 draft. But the Coles refused to entertain any proposals.
"We didn't need to hear an offer," his father would say. "It would just be giving them the wrong impression..."
Cole went on to have a stellar collegiate career with UCLA . Upon entering the 2011 MLB draft, he had clearly established himself as an elite pitcher.
And he was watched every step of the way.
During his junior season, there was one team who had at least one member of their scouting staff at every single ballgame he pitched, and by the time draft day arrived, their eyes were firmly set on making him a part of their future.
On Monday, June 6, 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates chose RHP Gerrit Cole with their number one draft selection.
Let's take an in-depth look at the Cole, the person and the player, and a cornerstone of the future for the Pittsburgh Baseball Club...
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