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Pittsburgh Pirates Sign First Overall Pick Gerrit Cole

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The Pittsburgh Pirates were able to sign right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole - the first overall pick in the 2011 draft for $8 million, according to Jon Heyman. Cole was a junior at UCLA, but decided to take the money and run instead of finishing his senior year in college. He is a 6'4 220 pound pitcher with a clean delivery and fastball at 96-86 miles per hour. Here is a good bit of a scouting report on him from ESPN:

He'll sit at 96-98 with his four-seamer and will show you a low-90s two-seamer, but the main attraction is actually his changeup, a grade-70 pitch today, 84-87 mph with great arm speed and a sort of hard fade that you don't often see on that type of pitch. His slider is above-average but not a knockout pitch right now -- 86-89 mph with good tilt but not the pitch-to-pitch consistency he has on his fastball or his changeup

ESPN also calls him a number one starter and that he is basically ready to pitch in the big leagues right now. Certainly, with the Pirates not contending now or in the very near future, they will take their time with him. However, if they do end up contending for the National League Central title, Cole will very much be a part of it.