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Gerrit Cole | RHP, Pirates | Born:  9/8/1990

As the first overall selection in the 2011 draft, signed out of UCLA to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a bonus worth $8 million, Gerrit Cole has arrived in pro baseball with large expectations.  The hype isn’t without merit, though.  Cole’s heater tops out at 102 mph and he counters with a deadly slider and a plus change.  His arsenal is impressive, and at an athletic 6-4, 220, Cole’s frame projects wonderfully.  He’s simply oozing with ace-potential.  Trevor Bauer, his teammate at UCLA, has captured most of the fantasy-prospect-to-watch headlines this spring, and based on his proximity to the majors, rightfully so.  Looking long-term, however, Cole figures to be the safer bet to reach and sustain fantasy ace status.  The major factor holding him back for the time being is command.

The aforementioned 100+ mph fastball isn’t quite as precise as Pirates hope it soon will be.  For now, Pittsburgh has Cole working in the mid-90′s, focusing on hitting spots while working out some flaws in his delivery.  Cole made his full-season debut last week in the Florida State League for High-A Bradenton and was impressive:  4 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 1 R.  The most noteworthy nugget from that start being he recorded all 12 outs via grounder or whiff – good contact was tough to come by for the opposition.  Cole’s second appearance was not nearly as successful as he surrendered four hits (two homers), walked two, and gave up four runs in just three innings of work.  He drew four more strikeouts, which is nice to see, but the outing was otherwise void of good news.  If nothing else, it serves to remind us that the 21-year-old is still a work-in-progress.  But do keep track of Gerrit Cole.  When he learns to harness his tremendous repertoire, he’ll push through the minors quickly and it won’t be long until Cole is making his presence known in the fantasy game.  A 2013 arrival seems most likely, but should he figure things out a bit sooner, the Pirates could use him in September.

Oscar Taveras | OF, Cardinals | Born:  6/19/1992

It doesn’t really get any more “unknown” than this.  That’s Oscar Taveras on third in that screencap.  But as the Cardinals’ broadcast would have you know, that’s “Minor League Guy”.  No matter what you call him, number 91 there is a damn good prospect and he should be approaching your fantasy horizons this year.  Taveras spent 2011 at Low-A Quad Cities where he hit .386/.444/.584 with 40 XBH in 347 trips to the plate.  The Cardinals chose to skip High-A and promoted their 19-year-old, Dominican-born outfield prospect to Double-A Springfield, where he’s already blasted two homers and knocked in 10 through 41 PA.  Taveras has outstanding hands at the plate.  He makes great contact and has very few holes in his swing.  With Carlos Beltran’s contract set to expire following the 2013 season, the Cardinals hope to slot Taveras in right field for full-time duties beginning in 2014.  I imagine, though, that we’ll see him up in some capacity before then.  A September call up for Taveras, too, could be in order if he’s able to maintain his hot start in the Texas League.

  1. David says:
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    Do you think Jameson Taillon will be to the majors before Cole?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @David, I think Cole has the tools to get him there first.

      • james says:
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        @Scott Evans, tailion was taken out of high school, so i am pretty sure cole is actually still older.

        I would not be shocked to see both in september when rosters expand to give them a taste. The pirates stink and have no reason for them to rush these guys… they will get the call when both of them and thier other high end prospects are all ready ala the royals

  2. HotRod says:
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    Grey,

    Keeper 14 Team 5×5

    Looking to punt saves with Bailey down…

    Would you deal my Phillips, Heath Bell & Andrew Bailey for Castro (would become keeper) & Mike Adams..

    Fair? Aim Higher?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @HotRod, Seems to me like you could aim a bit higher.

  3. MrHappyTime says:
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    Gavin Floyd or Edwin Jackson tomm for a streamers delight?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @MrHappyTime, I’d play Edwin.

      • james says:
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        @Scott Evans, edwin more upside, floyd more certain to have a decent start… i never understood the edwin love…. great stuff but terrible k rate

  4. CL says:
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    “A 2013 arrival seems most likely, but should he figure things out a bit sooner, the Pirates could use him in September.”

    You think the Pirates have post-season written on them? GCole is stashed on my roster currently.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @CL, I do not think the Pirates have a shot at the post season, no. I also imagine that they’ll be cautious with Cole’s service time & not use him until 2013. That said, it still wouldn’t surprise me if the Buckos call him up for a start or two in September… assuming, of course, that he starts mowing down A+ batters & likewise in AA. It’s a long-shot, but stranger things have happened…

  5. My My My MY Kuroda says:
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    Duda or Nieuwenhuis – can start 3 OF. 16-Team H2H. I have decent power and Avg with A. Gonzo/D Wright/Han Ram/Kinsler/Pence/Jesus Montero/Lucroy. Rest of my OF is weak with Coco/Delmon Young/Duda. K’s count against us in the league.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @My My My MY Kuroda, I’d lean toward Duda.

  6. prezii says:
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    Nolan reimold. REAL REAL? Whats your take on him??

    • AdamH says:
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      @prezii, From yesterdays roundup:

      Nolan Reimold – 2-for-3 with a pinch hit homer off Santiago. Now has 3 homers on the year. Since I’ve spewed nothing but praise for Reimold for the last three years, I’ll save you the time. I love him. If you really wanna go there, my Nolan Reimold fantasy. I wrote it in pink highlighter.

  7. Griff says:
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    Minor League Guy. F’in hilarious. Some schmuck in the production crew was too lazy to learn everyone on the roster.

    He should have just pulled a Fox Sports and cut to a shot of Jeter standing on the dugout steps. There’s hours of archival footage they could have edited in.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Griff, Ha, I just picture some production intern at FSN thinking that no one would notice… Sorry buddy, that’s your #2 prospect.

  8. TheNewGuy says:
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    Do you see Danny Hultzen making a splash late this year?

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