After not making the MLB Network top ten lists after 2018, Cole went on to have a monstrous season, dominating opposing lineups making batters look foolish with every turn at the mound. He gave “experts” over at the network reason to take a closer look at how he was rated. Cole’s performance placed him third in this year’s rankings.
Subsequently, after what turned out to be a career year with Houston Astros, Gerrit Cole joins the loaded New York Yankees. The former 2011 first overall draft pick fortifies a good starting rotation instantly, slotting in as the ace of the staff. In effect, Cole left one super team for another.
Last season, Cole experienced the best season of his seven-year career. He led the AL with a 2.50 ERA and Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) 2.64. His 326 strikeouts, 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings, and ERA+ of 185 ranked first among all qualifying pitchers in the majors.
While manning the mound, Cole held opposing batters to a career-low .186 batting average. He finished the regular season with career-bests in practically every major pitching category. Cole’s 20 wins, 6.9 WAR, 212 innings pitched, 0.895 WHIP, 326 strikeouts, 6.0 H/9, and 13.8 K/9 were all career highs.
In 2019, Gerrit Cole was selected to his second consecutive All-Star game and third overall but fell a few votes shy of winning the American League Cy Young. He was slightly edged out by then-teammate Justin Verlander, who coincidentally, MLB network ranked right above Cole at number two on their “right now” list.
Over the last two years, Cole has pitched 412.2 innings with 602 strikeouts and a 2.68 ERA. While those are all strong arguments in favor of Cole, don’t be so quick to crown him king just yet.