Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mlb All-Star Futures Game Pirates Prospects Cole, Taillon Soak Up Hype

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mlb All-Star Futures Game Pirates Prospects Cole, Taillon Soak Up Hype

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --

In a clubhouse swarming with reporters and swirling with questions, Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon stood close to one another Sunday, their lockers side by side.

The setting was the All-Star Futures Game at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. The goal is to have the scene repeat itself at PNC Park in coming years.

"I think it says a lot for the Pirates to have two guys representing them here," Taillon said.

It has happened several times before, including 2009 when Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln played in the Futures Game. But never before have the Pirates had two prospects of Cole's and Taillon's caliber appear in the same game.

The two right-handed power pitchers saw playing time for the U.S. Team, which beat the World Team, 17-5.

Cole hit 100 mph in his one-inning outing, but surrendered a two- run home run with two outs. He allowed two earned runs on one hit, striking out two and walking another. He threw 21 pitches, 14 strikes.

Taillon threw his fastball between 96-98 mph, hitting the latter frequently. He allowed one earned run after giving up two doubles. He threw 17 pitches, 12 strikes, in one inning.

Both are first-round draft picks -- Cole, 21, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 and Taillon, 20, the No. 2 overall pick in '10. The two were peppered with questions throughout the day -- about their experiences, the draft, their seasons, their friendship, the Pirates and even their travel schedules.

Cole knew being selected was a special distinction. But he didn't realize what he was in for until Saturday night at the team hotel, overrun with people.

"You just don't really believe it till you make it," Cole said. "Then when you get here, this attention, all this stuff, it's pretty overwhelming."

They were joined by a third member of the organization, Class AAA Indianapolis pitching coach Tom Filer, who served as pitching coach for the U.S. Team.

"I think it's really cool to be part of this big picture," Filer said. "I'm touched."

Cole and Taillon started the year together pitching for Class A Bradenton, and excelled through the first couple of months of the season. But Cole, drafted out of college, earned a promotion to Class AA Altoona at about the same time Taillon, drafted after his senior year of high school, started to struggle. …

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