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Cole could be the one for Pirates -- but it's a risky pick

Gerrit Cole looks like the No. 1 pick overall in tonight's baseball draft.

Ordinarily, I'd say that might be a good choice. However, that first overall pick belongs to the Pittsburgh Pirates, so I'm skeptical that they'll make the right choice.

The Pirates have a long and storied history of losing for nearly 20 years. Along those same lines, they have a long and storied history of making bad selections in the first round of the draft.

Remember Bryan Bullington at No. 1 overall? How about the great John VanBenschoten? He's the guy that led college baseball in home runs and the Pirates thought he'd be better as a pitcher. Then there's J.J. Davis, Bobby Bradley and Sean Burnett.


That's why I'll watch with trepidation tonight to see who the Pirates select.

Normally, I'd be all for drafting a pitcher who has a fastball that can hit 100 mph. But Cole's dominance just isn't there for a first-round pick. He's not even the best pitcher on UCLA. That player would be Trevor Bauer, who led the nation in strikeouts.

If you're not even the best pitcher on your team, how can you be selected No. 1 overall?

Bauer, by the way, is the one being compared to Tim Lincecum, the guy who helped lead the Giants to a World Series title last year.

Finally, it's also just the Pirates' luck that the year they own the top pick, there's no clear-cut choice like the Nationals had the past two years with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

Then again, maybe the Pirates wouldn't have picked them either.


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