By: Mike Vukovcan

UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole is the newest member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs selected the 6-foot-4 right-hander No. 1 overall in the Major League Baseball amateur draft making Cole the second pitcher in as many years taken first by the team.

Cole comes equipped with a three-pitch arsenal including a fastball capable of reaching 100 mph. This is the second time Cole has been drafted in the first round. In 2008, he was drafted No. 28 overall by the New York Yankees, but opted to go to college.

The Pirates chose Cole over Rice’s power-hitting third baseman Anthony Rendon and University of Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen. Cole is 6-8 this season with 119 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.31.

Cole is just another example of the Pirate’s strategy of adding young, hard-throwing arms to the organization. He joins 2010 draftees Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie as well as other pitching prospects Luis Heredia and Colton Cain.

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