This signing is a big one for the Pirates. The team is now adding another potential ace to their minor league system. Last year, the Pirates picked up Jameson Taillon with their top pick in the draft.
Cole will immediately become one of the top prospects in the Pirates system. In the future, the Pirates rotation could feature Cole, Taillon and fellow prospect Luis Heredia.
The former UCLA Bruin stands at 6'4", 225 lbs. He projects to be a durable starter that can be a power pitcher at the front end of the Pirates rotation. Cole has been able to routinely touch triple digits with his fastball and the pitch generally sits in the mid- to high-90s throughout his starts.
Cole also has a plus slider and his changeup—which can reach 90 mph—can also develop into a plus pitch very quickly.
It is unlikely that Cole will see any action in the Minor Leagues this season. The first real chance that fans should have to see Cole pitch might come in the Arizona Fall League. If he does not pitch there, Cole will make his debut in spring training.
Cole will not draw as much attention as the first-overall picks from the previous two years—Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg—have received, but he is still an outstanding player. Not having all of this hype surrounding him will likely be good for Cole’s development.