PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole, the first overall selection in Major League Baseball's 2011 First-Year Player Draft, has been assigned to the 2011 Arizona Fall League by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cole becomes the third consecutive No. 1 overall Draft choice to make his professional debut in the Arizona Fall League, following right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals in 2009-10, respectively.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Cole is a rare two-time, first-round Draft pick. He also was selected in the first round in 2008 by the New York Yankees out of Orange Lutheran High School in Southern California before opting to pitch at UCLA.
Cole set a UCLA freshman record with 104 strikeouts in 2009. In 2010, he led the Bruins to the championship round of the College World Series while posting an 11-4 record and finishing third in the nation with 153 strikeouts.
The Santa Ana, Calif., native also pitched for Team USA at the 2010 World University Games.
Six 2011 first-rounders
Cole will join five other 2011 first-round Draft choices in the 2011 Fall League.
The others are: Seattle left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen (No. 2), Milwaukee left-handed pitcher Jed Bradley (No. 15), Atlanta left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin (No. 28), San Francisco infielder Joe Panik (No. 29) and Tampa Bay outfielder Mikie Mahtook (No. 31).