Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with pitcher Gerrit Cole, the first overall selection in June's draft.
The UCLA right-hander entered the year widely considered the best player available. While he went just 6-8 with a 3.31 earned run average during his junior season, he still struck out 119 batters while walking 24 over 114 1/3 innings, regularly approaching 100 mph with his fastball.
He had been 11-4 with a 3.37 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 123 innings in 2010.
"Gerrit Cole has the size, strength, overall package of stuff and mentality to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter," said Pirates director of scouting Greg Smith. "His three plus major league pitches complement his strong traits mentally, physically and personally."
Cole, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 220 pounds, was actually chosen 28th overall in the 2008 draft by the Yankees, but opted to attend UCLA instead.