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Insider Only Pirates 1st Round Wrapup: Reactions from Huntington, Cole & Smith

Full reactions from Pirates 1st round pick Gerrit Cole, GM Neal Huntington and Scouting Director Greg Smith:

GM Neal Huntington

On selecting Cole: “He’s maturing into something pretty good before our eyes, and we felt that he had the biggest impact for us potentially of anybody on the board.”

On overlooking Cole’s numbers in 2011: “If we were focused on taking the player who performed the best this year, there might have been other options. Our focus is selecting the player that we believe is going to be the best for the organization two, four, six, eight, 10 years from now.
On never having enough pitching: “Pitching is a game of attrition. You can never have too much of it. It’s a valuable commodity in our game.”
On changing any aspects of Cole’s throwing motion: “We do see some things that we feel on the surface we can help, but most important, we’ve got to gain his trust before we start doing anything.”
On staying true to the board: “It’s a game of attrition, and you can never have too much if it. It’s the most valuable commodity in our game. We didn’t consciously go out to stockpile arms — we stay true to the board. More often than not, that happened to be a pitcher.”
On Anthony Rendon who fell to No. 6: “There was nothing on Anthony’s {medical} record that changed our willingness to draft him or not”

Scouting Director Greg Smith

On selection of Cole: “Gerrit Cole has the size, strength, overall package of stuff and mentality to potentially develop into a top-of-the-rotation Major League starting pitcher”
On Pirates scouting every start of Cole’s: Collectively, with our scouting staff, we did not miss a start. I got multiple looks at him, ad did our leadership group”

Gerrit Cole

On Pittsburgh’s Tradition: “You’ve got Roberto Clemente, a great city, a great ballpark, a lot of history, a lot of tradition, the Steelers, obviously,” Cole said. “I hear it’s a great place to play, a great environment and the fans are unbelievable.”
On the drive and intensity he plays with: “I’m the type of guy who wears my heart on my sleeve,” Cole said. “I show my emotions. Sometimes it’s not always a good thing and it’s something I’ve learned to control better as I’ve gotten older but it’s definitely a part of who I am.”
On not signing with the Yankees in 2008: “The draft three years ago was obviously somewhat unexpected, but I feel like the Yankees handled that with a lot of class,” Cole said, adding that New York scouting director Damon Oppenheimer texted him a congratulatory note Monday night. “I felt it was the correct decision.”
How important it was for him going to college: “You can’t sum it all up in one sentence,” Cole said of his college experience. “I fine tuned a lot of different aspects of the game. I learned a lot of things that don’t show up in the statistics. I learned how to take care of stuff off the field and to persevere through school as well as a lot of stuff on the field. It was such a privilege to be part of the environment and to be a UCLA Bruin. I’m a better person now in so many ways then the day I walked onto campus. I’ve grown up a lot.”
On expectations of getting to majors: “I really have no expectations going into that situation. I’m going to let Pittsburgh and their guys do the evaluation. Obviously, you want the business side of things to go as smoothly as possible, but I understand there is another side having gone through this before. I feel like I’m prepared.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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