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Pirates agree to terms with Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell
08/15/2011 11:59 PM ET

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole, the club's first round selection and the number one overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and outfielder Josh Bell, the club's second-round selection and 61st pick overall in this year's Draft. The announcement was made by Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington and Greg Smith, Pirates Director of Scouting.

In 16 games as a junior with UCLA this season, the 20-year-old Cole went 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA (114.1ip/42er), four complete games, a shutout and 119 strikeouts.

During his three years at UCLA, Cole ranked second in school history in strikeouts (376), third in starts (49) and fifth in innings pitched (322.1). Cole also finished third on UCLA's single-season strikeouts list (153 in 2010) and sixth on the Pac- 10's career strikeouts list (376). He also took two perfect games into the seventh inning this year; doing so on March 4 at Nebraska and then again a week later against Georgia.

Cole was rated by Baseball America as having the "Best Fastball" in the draft. Cole was also rated as having the "Best Fastball" and "Changeup" among college pitchers according to ESPN.com.

"Gerrit Cole has the size, strength, overall package of stuff and mentality to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter," said Smith. "His three plus Major League pitches complement his strong traits mentally, physically and personally."

The 6'4", 220-pound Cole was originally selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2008 draft out of Orange Lutheran (CA) High School, where he was rated as the top high school prospect and the fourth-best high school player in the nation by Perfect Game Crosschecker and Baseball America as a senior. Last summer he played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team for the second straight year, where he went 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA and one save in five games (four starts).

Bell hit .548 with 13 home runs, 54 RBI, 54 runs scored with a 1.054 slugging percentage as a senior this year for Dallas Jesuit (TX) High School, where he helped lead his team to the Class 5A regional semifinals. He also struck out just five times in his 139 plate appearances this season.

The 6-foot-3, 206-pound switch hitter was rated by Baseball America as the top corner outfielder and fifth-best position player overall available in this year's Draft. As a senior at Dallas Jesuit he was also named the 2010-11 Gatorade/ESPN Rise Texas Baseball Player-of-the-Year.

"Josh is one of the premier high school hitters in the country and we are pleased to add him to our organization," said Smith. With the addition of Cole and Bell, the Pirates signed 24 players from this year's draft, including each of their top 10 selections.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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