AFL Rising Stars Game Recap

The AFL Rising Stars game wasn’t kind to Gerrit Cole.  The Pittsburgh Pirates right hander was hit for two home runs and five runs total, getting just two outs before being lifted due to a single inning pitch limit.

Cole started off by giving up a double to Kevin Mattison.  The ball bounced past the first baseman, and Mattison hustled his way to a double.  Cole’s next pitch was a 99 MPH fastball that Nick Franklin hit to center field for a two run homer.  He followed that with a single on a chopper up the middle.  Junior Lake fielded the ball, but didn’t have a play.  However, he tried to make the play, and made a wild throw to first, allowing the runner to advance to second.

The first out came on a strikeout to the next batter.  Cole got a swinging strike in the dirt on a 92 MPH cut fastball.  He followed that up with a five pitch walk to Michael Choice, and then gave up his second homer of the game on another 99 MPH fastball.  Cole finished his day with a groundout, before being lifted due to a single inning pitch limit of 29 pitches.

Cole gave up five runs, all earned, on a walk and four hits, with one strikeout and two home runs.  He was mostly using his fastball, throwing 15 four seam fastballs, all in the 97-99 MPH range, with seven of those pitches hitting 99 MPH.  He threw two changeups and three sliders, with nine cut fastballs.  His command was off, with 16 strikes and 13 balls, including a few elevated pitches.

Robbie Grossman also had a rough night, going 0-for-3 with a walk.  Grossman struck out looking in his first at-bat, going up against left hander Danny Hultzen.  In his next at-bat he grounded out to first base against former Pirates prospect Nathan Adcock.  Grossman walked on five pitches in his third at-bat, then reached on an error in his fourth at-bat.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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steve-O K

Although it was a bad outing, what can we take from a guy who is expected to go 7-9 innings and given the task of pitching 1-2 pointless innings.

F Lang

It’s funny that people are frustrated with a kid who has pitched 5 times in an organized game since May. Sure, you’d like to see Cole dominate but he has a lot of work to do for a kid with his stuff and college experience.  We know this. To me just on one viewing and from what I’ve read he likes to throw all his pitches, maybe to his detriment. When you throw 98-100 you don’t really need to be perfect all the time but he throws a lot of other stuff up there. He threw just as many secondary pitches as he did 4 seamers and that is too much when you throw that hard. Plus, as you said the command…if you can throw strike one at 99 down and you have a good slider and changeup you really don’t need to be anywhere near the middle of the plate for the rest of the at bat. Throw it outside or up or down and make them chase.  He is not there yet.

Lee Young

We learn more about a prospect AFTER he fails. Better to fail in the minors….


frustrating to see Cole struggle out there.   I know its a meaningless All-Star game but it seems par for  the course with this franchise.  Nothing ever seems to go right




i need one of those breathalizers attached to my laptop that won’t allow me to send posts after drinking. 

I have written many times to this site telling people to be patient maybe I should just shut up. 

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