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Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: GERRIT COLE SP PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Heading into the 2017 fantasy baseball season, Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was nothing but a draft afterthought.  Considered an ace fantasy baseball starter as recently as 2015, Cole took a nosedive down cheat sheets on account of numerous elbow/shoulder scares, dipping velocity, and a rising ERA.  All three combined to yield a decent but rising ERA from the year prior (2.60 to 3.88) and a horrid 1.44 WHIP.  Outside of the injuries, the biggest concern with Cole was a reduced K/9 rate that went from 9.00 and 8.74 from 2014-15 to last year's 7.60.  When it came to Cole, the injury factor was a drag on his fantasy baseball value and also was beginning to undermine his stuff.  So it was not a big shock he was quite affordable at the draft table.

Fast forward to present time and Cole just put the finishing touches on his latest gem on Saturday where he gave up just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8 in 7 innings of 1-run ball.  The outing was the fifth straight where Cole gave up two earned runs or less and it lowered his season ERA to 3.14 and his WHIP to 1.05.  In other words, we are seeing 2015 numbers again when Cole was an ace.  It is simply here really as Cole is currently healthy and his fastball velocity has ticked back up again.  The result is a rising 8.79 K/9 rate that is his best since 2014.  Thus those (like yours truly in the Experts League) who snagged Cole at a major discount at the draft are sitting pretty right now and honestly the best course of action is to hold him.  2016 is still fresh in the minds of his the fantasy baseball community and so Cole won't yield you much back in a trade if you try to sell high.  Enjoy what you are getting now as a bonus and hope it continues into the second half of the season.


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