Pirates looking to Cole as their pitcher of the future

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BRADENTON - The Pittsburgh Pirates have not had a winning season in the past 20 years. With pitchers like AJ Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and company, that may be about to change. But with Gerrit Cole getting closer, the Pirates are looking to long-term winning.

Cole was the top pick overall in the 2011 Major League Baseball amateur draft, and as a 6'4'' pitcher, the Pirates hope he is a workhorse for the future.

That is what Cole wants for himself. “It’s the same game everywhere I go, and besides the surrounding environment, I just gotta be myself and go out there and do my job.”

He began his professional career playing for the Bradenton Marauders last season, and he acclimated himself well with 2.55 ERA.

After half a season with Bradenton, he went to AA and again had an ERA under 3, so the 22-year-old is on the verge. “You don’t stick around in this game if you don’t have a good routine and you’re not very consistent, so I’m just learning all those types of things that I can get…it’s helping a lot.”

He will most likely begin the 2013 season in the minors after one more spring training start this Saturday against the Twins. “You can still throw the ball by people, you just gotta locate a little more and be conscious of what type of hitters those guys are, because they’re older and they know what they can do with the ball.”

The Pirates are being patient, but Cole is their future ace, and it has them salivating.