Pirates prospect interview: Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole went 9-7 with a 2.80 ERA in the minors last summer and the Pirates right-hander is considered one of the 10 best minor league prospects in the game. PiratesDugout.com caught up with Cole recently.

PD - Your first professional season last year, and you played at three different levels. What did you take away from that experience of pitching at three different levels?

GC – That it's the same game everywhere I go and besides the surrounding environment I've just got to be myself and go out there and do my job.

PD – You've got great stuff and have been able to blow the ball by hitters. Was it a little different at Triple A, more of a chess match?

GC – Yeah, I think so. I think you can still throw the ball by people, you've just got to locate a little more and be conscious of what type of hitters those guys are because they are older and they know what they can do with the ball.

PD – You've had an opportunity in this camp to be in a group with Jeff Karstens, A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodríguez . What can you take away from the experience of working with a veteran group like that?

GC – Just kind of how disciplined they are and how they go about their business. You don't stick around in this business if you don't have a good routine and you're not very consistent. Just learning all those types of things that I can get from them has helped me a lot.

PD – You get a lot of attention as the number one prospect, but one guy you've become good friends with is Jameson Taillon. What do you see as a teammate and a friend as to why this guy is a special talent?

GC – He's just a great competitor and a great guy, a great teammate who goes out there and battles whether he has his best stuff or not. I think we both feel it. I try not to get too excited. I try to treat it like it's routine and take care of the process. That's really a cliche, but it's one of the hardest things to do. There's a lot of hype and expectations, but we've got to stay focused."

PD – You fanned the first six batters you faced in a recent outing against the Spanish team from the World Baseball Classic. How did you feel out there?

GC – I just treated it like every other start, tried to nail the delivery in the bullpen and take it out to the game. I wanted to be aggressive.

PD – Are you still in the mix to grab a spot in the rotation coming out of spring training?

GC – They haven't told me I'm out, I'm still here. As long as I'm still here, I feel like I've got a chance.

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