College Baseball Daily continues our countdown for the 2010 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
We continue the list today with number 4 in our countdown with junior RHP Gerrit Cole from UCLA. He is from Santa Ana, California as he attended Orange Lutheran High School where he was a three year letterwinner playing under Mike Grahovac. He had an outstanding senior season where he went 8-2 with a 0.46 ERA while totaling 121 strikeouts and walking 18 batters in 75.2 innings. Heading into the 2008 MLB Draft, Perfect Game Crosschecker rated him the best high school player in the country while Baseball America had him fourth. Cole was selected by the New York Yankees with the 28th overall selection as he slid as he told many teams he wanted to attend college. Cole lived up to his side of the bargain as he refused a multi-million dollar contract to attend UCLA.
As a freshman in 2009, Gerrit made 15 appearances (14 starts) as he went 4-8 with an ERA of 3.49 while pitching in 85 innings. He dominated hitters as he only allowed a .191 batting average against him. He struck out 104 batters which was a UCLA Freshman record. He was one of three freshman to earn All-Pac 10 team. He also captured Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He played in the summer with the USA Collegiate National Team where he appeared in six games (five starts). He had a 4-0 record with a 1.06 ERA while leading Team USA with 46 strikeouts and 34 innings pitched. He issued ten walks while limiting the opponents to a .104 batting average. One of his better performance on the summer was when he was a part of a combined no-hitter against Guatemala as he registered 11 strikeouts in 5.2 innings. His other strong performance came in the World Baseball Challenge when he pitched a complete game two hitter against Canada as Team USA picked up a 1-0 victory to go to the championship game. Baseball America rated Cole as the best prospect on Team USA in 2009.
Cole served as the ace of the UCLA pitching staff in 2010 bringing the Bruins to the College World Series Championship Series in which they would lose in two games to South Carolina. He ended up finishing the season making 19 starts while accumulating a 11-4 with a 3.37 ERA. He was dominate on the hill as he struck out 153 while walking only 52 in 123.0 innings. He was named earned second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball while being named third-team All-American by Baseball America and the NCBWA.
He spent his second straight summer on the USA Collegiate National Team which saw him make five appearances (four starts) while going 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA. He ended up striking out 23 batters in only 25 innings pitched.