22-Year-Old Pitcher – Washington Nationals
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Re-acquired from the A's last offseason in the Mike Morse deal, Cole put together a sharp 151:33 K:BB ratio in 142.2 innings between High-A and Double-A and vaulted back towards the top of the Nationa...
A.J. Cole Contract Information:
Signed a deal with the Nationals in August 2010 that includes a $2 million signing bonus.
Cole was reassigned to minor league camp Wednesday.
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Washington Nationals Roster
MajorsBlevins, Jerry (P)
A+Dickson, Ian (P)
ABacus, Dakota (P)
RookieGiolito, Lucas (P)
A.J. Cole: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Cole pitched very well at Low-A Burlington, but then was absolutely crushed upon promotion to Stockton in the hitter-friendly California League. He started eight games for Stockton with a nearly 8.00 ERA. He was the top pitching prospect acquired in the Gio Gonzalez trade, but the A's turned around and traded him back to Washington in the offseason in the John Jaso-Mike Morse three-way deal. He's still young (he turned 21 in January) and the trade shows the Nationals are still high on his future. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and Washington will likely start him off in Low-A again and bring him through the system slowly.
Cole, a 2010 fourth-round draft pick of the Nationals, pitched better than his line indicated in Low-A Hagerstown. His peripherals were outstanding, 10.92 K/9IP and 2.43 BB/9IP, and his ERA was affected by a low strand rate (63.1 percent) and high BABIP (.342). He features a plus-fastball that sits in the 91-93 mph range, an above average curveball and a change-up. Just 20 years old, Cole was included in the package sent to Oakland for Gio Gonzalez in December. He'll open the season in the hitter-friendly California League, and is likely two full minor league campaigns away from the big league radar.
Cole fell to the fourth round in the draft due to his bonus demands to get him out of a commitment to the University of Miami, but the Nationals took a chance and were able to get his name on a contract. The lanky righty may get a "projectable" label from scouts, but he's already capable of topping 94 mph with his fastball, has a nasty power curve when he doesn't overthrow it and has even shown a feel for a changeup, which is an excellent starting point for an 19-year-old. He's a long way from the majors, but if he fills out and refines his arsenal Cole will some day be a force at the top of the Washington rotation.