Aug. 16, 2011
PITTSBURGH - UCLA right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, as announced by Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington and Greg Smith, Pirates Director of Scouting.
Cole, 20, was the first overall selection of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Monday, June 6, and became the first-ever No. 1 overall pick at UCLA.
During his three years at UCLA (2009-11), Cole ranked second in school history in strikeouts (376), third in starts (49) and fifth in innings pitched (322.1). Cole finished third on UCLA's single-season strikeouts list (153 as a sophomore in 2010) and sixth on the Pac-12's career strikeouts list (376). He took two perfect games into the seventh inning this year - in 25-degree weather at Nebraska on March 4 and at home the following week against Georgia (March 11).
In 16 games as a junior in 2011, Cole went 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA, four complete games, one shutout and 119 strikeouts.
"Gerrit Cole has the size, strength, overall package of stuff and mentality to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter," said Smith. "His three plus Major League pitches complement his strong traits mentally, physically and personally."
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound product from Orange Lutheran High School was originally selected by the New York Yankees in the first round (28th overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft. In two summers at UCLA (2009, 2010), Cole starred on the USA Collegiate National Team.
"We are very excited for Gerrit to start his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates," UCLA head coach John Savage said. "Gerrit has been our Friday night starter for the last three years. He has helped our program make great strides and has represented UCLA at the highest level, both on and off the field. The time he spent at UCLA has benefitted both him and our program. Gerrit has a very bright future ahead of him."
Cole secured All-Pac-10 Team honors in 2009 and 2010 and captured honorable mention accolades in 2011. He was a second-team All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball and third-team All-America selection by Baseball America as a sophomore in 2010.
UCLA has produced 233 MLB Draft (June Draft) selections, and just two players have been selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates - Cole in 2011 and Casey Cloud in 1998.
Two of UCLA's five high school commitments drafted in June will report to campus in September - infielder Kevin Kramer (25th round, Cleveland Indians) and right-handed pitcher Jacob Ehret (37th round, Florida Marlins).
Three players who signed National Letters of Intent in Nov. 2010 to enroll and play baseball at UCLA agreed to terms with their respective major league organizations on Monday, the deadline date for drafted players to sign a contract. Right-handed pitcher Joe Ross (first round, 25th overall) and catcher Austin Hedges (second round, 82nd overall) agreed to terms with the San Diego Padres. Infielder Tyler Goeddel (first round supplemental, 41st overall), the younger brother of former UCLA pitcher Erik Goeddel, agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Rays.
In addition, all nine UCLA players drafted last June have signed professional contracts. Eight of those players had remaining collegiate eligibility. Redshirt junior left-hander Mitchell Beacom was the final player from the 2011 roster to agree to terms, signing with the San Francisco Giants on Monday (20th round draft selection).