Thursday, August 05, 2010
Convincing A.J. Cole
As the August 16th deadline date approaches for Our Washington Nationals to sign Bryce Harper (their 1st Round, 1st Overall pick in the 2010 Entry draft), another 18-year old chosen three rounds later by D.C.'s Team should be watched as closely by fans. The signing of A.J. Cole could be just as significant of a step for the future of Major League Baseball in The Nation's Capital as getting Harper to sign on the dotted line.
Florida High Schooler A.J. Cole was considered a sure 1st Round pick by most every scout in the country last season. The big righthander can reach 96 MPH on his fastball and some believe his curveball has the capability of being an above average pitch in the Big Leagues soon. Cole's 6'4" lean frame excited scouts because they believe his easy and fluid motion from the mound is well balanced. Projecting his talent out as a Major League front of the rotation starter, some thought A.J. would be picked as a top ten choice in the 2010 Entry Draft.
But after he signed and committed to The University Of Miami to play baseball last November--A.J.'s signability was questioned. The result: Cole dropped down to the 4th round of June's Draft where Our Washington Nationals grabbed him. If Mike Rizzo can sign Cole before the August 16th deadline, then Our General Manager has added another quality pitcher to the nucleus of Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen and Jordan Zimmermann in D.C.
A.J. Cole says he's undecided, but is thrilled about the possibility of playing alongside Strasburg & Harper. 4th Round picks usually don't demand the big million dollar bonus money of the 1st round picks. Cole though, might be in such a position to do so. If he chooses The University of Miami over professional baseball at this time, A.J. will not be eligible again for the draft until June of 2013.
Signing Bryce Harper by August 16th is an important step for Our Washington Nationals--adding A.J. Cole to Washington's stable of young talent--just as meaningful. A future starting rotation including Strasburg, Zimmermann & Cole could seriously be projected as one of the best in the game. Convincing A.J. Cole to put his signature on a Washington Nationals contract would be very noteworthy. A sound business decision by Baseball Management that could impact Washington's play on the field for years, and years, to come.