The Pittsburgh Pirates will select UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 overall pick in Monday’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, sources told MLB.com.
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The Pirates had been mulling as many as four other players over the course of the past few months, including Virginia southpaw Danny Hultzen and Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon.
The Pirates have not drafted first since 2002, when they selected Bryan Bullington, who only made 26 major league appearances and is now playing overseas.
Cole, a six-foot-four, 225-pound (102 kg) right-hander, is projected as a front-of-the-rotation power pitcher. His fastball is regularly clocked above 100 mph.
The 20-year-old has struggled down the stretch this season, going just 6-8 with a 3.13 ERA in his last 16 starts for the Bruins. But he has continued to rack up strikeouts to the tune of 119 in 114.1 innings.