Pirates Notes: Cole, Rendon, Hultzen, Boleska

Paul Maholm (2003), Neil Walker (2004), Andrew McCutchen (2005) and Pedro Alvarez (2008) were all first round selections by the Pirates. The last time they had the first overall pick, however, they selected Bryan Bullington (2002), who has yet to make a significant impact in the Major Leagues. The Pirates select first overall this June; here’s the latest on what they’ll do with the top pick:

  • The Pirates appear to be looking primarily at UCLA righty Gerrit Cole, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen with the first overall selection, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Nine of 14 scouts predicted that the Pirates will take Cole, with three predicting Rendon and two predicting Hultzen.
  • For interviews with all three players, check out our Draft Prospect Q&A series.
  • All signs point to the Pirates taking a college player rather than, say, high school standout Bubba Starling, according to Mayo.
  • The Pirates released Double-A right-hander Tom Boleska, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). Boleska, a 24-year-old right-hander, has a 2.73 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in five minor league seasons, but has struggled in 12 appearances at Double-A this year.
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9 Comments on "Pirates Notes: Cole, Rendon, Hultzen, Boleska"

4 years 3 months ago

I’d be surprised if they didn’t take Cole. Their pitching is kinda weak, so that’s what they need to work on in this draft.

4 years 3 months ago

drafting for need (or signability for that matter) in the first round is a sure way to miss out on great players.  if they draft one of the pitchers, it should be because they like him better than rendon.

Mike Adamson
4 years 3 months ago

Cole seems like the best pick and maybe the safest. Rendon has battled injuries for 2 years now and Hultzen has just shot up draftboards recently. 

4 years 3 months ago

 Hultzen is the real deal. I’ve followed his career at UVA and him jumping up the draft board like this should come as no surprise. He has star written all over him. 

Mike Adamson
4 years 3 months ago

I would say the Pirates have a bunch of pitching in the low minors… Few teams can match the upside of Tallion, Heredia, and Allie. Plus we have Owens, Lincoln, Morris, Locke, and Von Rosenberg as prospects. The Pirates need to just take the best guy regardless of position.

4 years 3 months ago

In fairness to Bryan Bullington, he never should have been drafted no. 1 overall.  The genius that was former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield pronounced him a #3 starter on draft day… exactly the type of player you don’t draft with the 1st overall pick. At least we can be sure Neil Huntington won’t make that mistake this year, and will draft someone with more upside.

In addition, Bullington started the year 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts for the Hiroshima Carp.  At age 30, he’s finally making an impact, albeit in the Nippon Central league.

4 years 3 months ago

While Pedro’s glove has looked just fine at the hot corner for the most part this season, he’s going to be too big for that position in the not so distant future.  Others have mentioned that there are some nice arms already in the system, while it’s almost entirely void of power. Yea, I know, you can never have enough pitching, I agree…but you have to have SOME hitters, too.

I still want to see them take Rendon. He’s probably the safest pick, and he can fill a need while still being, arguably, the best available player at the same time. For the millionth time, I want to see Rendon in Pittsburgh…but I’d be more than happy to live with Cole.

Either way, it looks nice (on paper, of course). Which do you prefer? A lineup that looks something like: McCutchen, Tabata, Rendon, Alvarez, Walker at the top? Or a rotation that starts Cole, Taillon, Heredia? Granted much later than you would probably see that lineup in Pittsburgh.

4 years 3 months ago

All in all I want the Mariners to get Rendon, so I hope Cole works out for the Pirates.

4 years 3 months ago

They better take A Rendon..  they have plenty of pitching even now…Pedro  Alvarez needs to move to first and relax and be the hitter they drafted him to be…and not worry about being Brooks Robinson..