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Cole's statistics don't live up to hype of No. 1 pick

No surprise yesterday as UCLA's Gerrit Cole was selected No. 1 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the baseball draft.

The big surprise to me is the statistics put up by a supposed elite college pitcher: six wins, eight losses and a 3.31 ERA.

I'd expect him to lead his team or conference in strikeouts and reach double-digits in wins.

Oh, that's right, Cole's teammate did all that. Trevor Bauer went 13-2 and set a Pac-10 record with 203 strikeouts. His ERA was 1.25. And this stat really stood out: he ended the season with nine straight complete games.

But back to Cole. My big question: If he's struggling to get college hitters out with a fastball that can hit 100 mph, how is he supposed to get major leaguers out?

The Pirates feel pretty confident he will.

"We felt he'd have the biggest potential impact for us of anybody on the board," general manager Neal Huntington said.

The Pirates obviously project him to be an outstanding pitcher. And they're right, drafting is about projecting a player's potential.

I believe projections come more into play in the baseball draft with high school players than college players, especially ones wrapping up their junior season.

Maybe there's a reason for Cole's sub-par season. Maybe he felt pressure. I just hope there's no injury behind it.

That would be the Pirates' luck.


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The Post-Gazette's story was a grabber, with Randle El saying he wouldn't play football if he could do it over again.

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The kids are getting bigger and faster, so the concussions, the severe spinal cord injuries, are only going to get worse. It’s a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football. But I tell parents, you can have the right helmet, the perfect pads on, and still end up with a paraplegic kid. There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week.
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