Lately, young hitters and aces are popping up out of the minors like acne on an oily teenage face. The Mets' Matt Harvey is sending lineups home demoralized and they have Zach Wheeler, another young dealer preparing for his call up to the big show. Yasiel Puig is making history in the Dodgers order, while Manny Machado is picking up where Bryce Harper and Mike Trout left off. Jurickson Profar is feeling out his way around the base pads in Texas, and fellow pitching phenom Jameson Taillon may soon join Gerrit Cole in the Pittsburgh clubhouse, but Tuesday night was Cole's night as the Pirates top pick of the 2011 MLB Draft made his much-anticipated debut.
The Pirates' 22-year-old ace has been making waves in the minors for the past two years. Through 6 1/3 innings against San Francisco, Cole struck out just two batters, but allowed only two runs, seven hits and imposed his will with commanding pitch control.
Cole's still an incomplete thrower, but he should be a major factor in the Pirates push to win the NL Central. The Pirates are in need of a young ace to help them overtake the Reds and Cardinals, who both benefit from having two of the best pitching staffs in the majors.