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Pirates

Pirates Passing On Rendon & Cole?

By: Mike Vukovcan
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Pirates GM Neal Huntington

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- The Pittsburgh Pirates have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. For months, baseball insiders have said that the Bucs will select either Rice 3B Anthony Rendon or UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole. Now it appears as though a third player has entered the discussion.

Could the Pirates select Virginia’s Danny Hultzen with the No. 1 overall selection in June’s draft?

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus first reported back on May 2 that Hultzen had emerged as the third player that the Pirates would consider.

Last night on the MLB Network, Peter Gammons said that “some executives think the Pirates will take Hultzen.”

Hultzen is 9-1 with a 1.19 ERA at Virginia. In 75.2 innings pitched, he has 112 strikeouts and just 12 walks.

People are getting concerned over Rendon’s history of recent injuries (shoulder & ankle) and Cole’s slip in production this season at UCLA. Some are worried about the amount of pitches that Cole has already thrown and whether his arm/shoulder will hold up.

Here’s a little background on Hultzen:
*Throws a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a change-up and a slider
*Always attacks and is in the strike zone, drawing comparisons to Cliff Lee
*Career record at Virginia: 28-3
*Smooth delivery and consistent, repeatable mechanics
*NL evaluator on Hultzen’s command: “His command would probably be top 10 in the big leagues right now, he just doesn’t miss.”
*High character type kid
*Arizona selected him in the 10th round back in the 2008 draft, he decided to attend college

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