Gerrit Cole Defends Reason for Not Signing with New York Yankees

Bronx Baseball DailySenior Analyst IFebruary 20, 2009

Many Yankee fans were upset last summer when their team failed to sign their first round draft pick, Gerrit Cole, who instead elected to go to college.

But Cole doesn’t regret that decision. Actually quite the opposite and something that Alex Rodriguez said during the conference is what really made him feel like he made the right choice in choosing UCLA over the fast track to the Bronx.

“He said the one thing he regrets most is being so young and going into Major League Baseball,” Cole said. “He said he wished he would have gone to college and grown up.”

Cole is an 18-year-old who can throw a fast ball up to 97-MPH and has a plus slider and a changeup that put his ceiling as high as anyone in the Yankees system right now.

But the maturation process of college is something that he feels he couldn’t get pitching professionally at 18. And ultimately, three years in college shouldn’t be what keeps him from fulfilling his potential as a pitcher.

“Time and time again, you hear kids trying to impress teams and wanting teams to like them,” Cole said. “They do everything in their power, like the draft is the end, the highest honor you can get. It’s really only the beginning of the road.”

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Cole seems like one kid who really understands what they are going through. If he’s going to pitch in the big leagues, he feels he can do that regardless of whether he goes to school or not and going to school, he feels, will only make him a better person.

He didn’t even listen for an offer from the Yankees last season and probably could have had as much money as any amateur player turning pro. But that is not what is important to him.

Must have been a tough decision to make, but as long as he stays healthy the money will be there in three years.

Oh yeah, and the chicks in college are a lot better than the ones showing up to minor league games.