Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole
28-Year-Old PitcherSP
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The smart money was on Cole thriving in Houston, despite a move to the American League. However, no one expected such a dominating campaign. Not only was there a latent park upgrade, but the Astros identified a flaw in Cole's pitch mix and increased his curveball usage. The result was a cascade effect as Cole's entire arsenal enjoyed an upgrade. He posted a career-best 14.1 SwStr% without sacrificing much control. The result was his third 200-inning season in the last four years (just five others have accomplished the feat in each of the past two seasons). Cole's success was driven by a huge improvement versus left-handed batters against whom the increased use of his curveball was paramount. Cole will be hard-pressed to repeat this level of success without the platoon edge, so expect regression. Still, his durability renders Cole one of the few workhorses in an era of five and fly. It'll cost, but Cole should remain one of the few elite starters in the game. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year, $13.5 million contract with the Astros in February of 2019 after winning arbitration hearing.
Good to go for Thursday
PHouston Astros
August 20, 2019
Cole (hamstring) is listed as the Astros' probable starter for Thursday's game against the Tigers.
The Astros seemingly have no lingering concern about Cole's sore right hamstring after he completed a bullpen session Monday without incident. Though he was never placed on the 10-day injured list, Cole ended up missing just over two weeks as a result of the hamstring issue. Houston demoted Rogelio Armenteros to Triple-A Round Rock over the weekend to open a spot back up in the rotation for Cole.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .208 1097 373 89 208 42 5 37
Since 2017vs Right .230 1165 325 69 248 54 3 37
2019vs Left .184 304 121 25 51 11 0 12
2019vs Right .214 310 105 14 63 13 0 12
2018vs Left .162 389 160 38 56 14 1 7
2018vs Right .231 410 116 26 87 22 1 12
2017vs Left .268 404 92 26 101 17 4 18
2017vs Right .241 445 104 29 98 19 2 13
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 3.39 1.02 273.2 20 9 0 11.5 2.3 1.1
Since 2017Away 3.36 1.17 286.1 21 13 0 10.9 2.8 1.3
2019Home 2.81 0.85 83.1 9 2 0 13.3 1.7 1.4
2019Away 2.95 1.12 73.1 5 3 0 12.6 2.8 1.4
2018Home 2.99 0.97 96.1 8 2 0 13.2 2.6 0.9
2018Away 2.77 1.10 104.0 7 3 0 11.7 3.1 0.8
2017Home 4.31 1.22 94.0 3 5 0 8.2 2.4 1.1
2017Away 4.21 1.28 109.0 9 7 0 9.1 2.5 1.7
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Stat Review
How does Gerrit Cole compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 70 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
97.1 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
87.9 mph
Spin Rate
2560 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Gerrit Cole
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7 days ago
James Anderson profiles every potentially relevant September callup, including Kyle Tucker, who has been worse in a repeat tour of the Pacific Coast League.
Regan's Rumblings: Swinging Strike Rate Improvers
9 days ago
Dave Regan covers the 10 starting pitchers (who qualify for the ERA title) who have showing the biggest first half/second half leap in their SwStr percentage.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Few pitchers were impacted as negatively by the Great Home Run Spike as Cole. His HR/9 shot from 0.54 in 2016 to 1.37 last season, which was the main culprit behind his nearly 50-point increase in ERA. Cole improved his strikeout and walk rates in his age-26 season, adding a full strikeout to his K/9, and in turn shaved 21 points off his xFIP. Most importantly, the right-hander managed to avoid the injury bug after missing the end of 2016 with an elbow ligament injury, exceeding 200 innings for the second time in his career -- Cole was one of just 15 major-league arms to reach 200 innings in 2017. The issues with the long ball may very well persist, but that's going to be the case with a lot of talented pitchers in today's landscape. Health remains the biggest concern, but Cole has a case as an SP2 in mixed leagues following the move to Houston as (believe it or not) it is a significant park upgrade.
Cole landed on the disabled list three times in 2016. An elbow ligament injury ultimately ended his season after he tried pitching through the pain. He opted for rest over offseason surgery. When Cole did toe the rubber, the results were disappointing with the right-hander registering career-worst numbers across the board: 3.88 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 K/9. His average fastball velocity (95.2 mph) was close to his career mark (95.4 mph), but the pinpoint accuracy was lacking. Cole is a rebound candidate -- he's one season removed from 19-8, 2.60 ERA, 1-09 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 208 IP -- but he also carries more risk than other starters in his tier.
Cole appeared en route to an elite season in 2015 before a second half slowdown put a small damper on things. He went 13-3 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.12 WHIP leading up to the All-Star Game, only to go 6-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.06 WHIP the rest of the way (not exactly bad numbers). For whatever reason, the 25-year-old posted much better numbers during day games (10-1, 2.05 ERA) than at night (9-7, 3.00 ERA). He increased his slider usage from 12.1% to 21.2%, which enhanced his effectiveness, but keep in mind that pitchers who rely heavily on sliders tend to get hurt more frequently than those who don’t. Aside from the increased slider reliance, there is no reason why Cole can’t put together another outstanding campaign in 2016.
The budding ace battled injury and inconsistent velocity in his sophomore season for the Bucs. Cole, who made two separate trips to the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and a lat strain, made seven starts upon his return in late August, going 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. At times his velocity dipped, even within the same starts, though his overall fastball velocity fell only slightly (96.1 mph to 95.5 mph) from 2013. For the season, he compiled a 3.65 ERA (3.30 FIP), 1.21 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 138 innings. If Cole can improve upon his .316 BABIP, there's a good chance he'll return better overall numbers. With a little bit better luck in the injury department, the hard-throwing righty could break out the way many expected him to last season.
Cole won his first four starts in Pittsburgh, but struck out only 11 batters in the process. Theories were floated: Cole himself said that he was pitching to contact and hadn't unleashed his entire repertoire. After coming up second best in an Aug. 8 showdown with fellow phenom Jose Fernandez, Cole elevated his game to a new level. In his final eight starts, the 2011 first-overall draft pick went 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 53:13 K:BB ratio. Cole led all major league pitchers with a 96.1 mph average fastball (110 IP minimum). The Pirates then chose Cole over A.J. Burnett to start Game 5 of the NLDS, an indication of his top-of-the-rotation status. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound right-hander matured in the majors in a very short time period. It wouldn't be surprising to see him encounter some bumps along the way, but he'll be called upon as a frontline starter from the get-go in 2014.
Regardless of whether Pittsburgh keeps its front office intact moving forward, Cole has a decent chance of cracking the team's rotation by the end of 2013. Not even the stingy Pirates could keep the top overall draft pick from 2011 at High-A for all of 2012. Cole began the year with Bradenton, where he compiled a 2.69 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 67 innings. His 69:21 K:BB helped make the decision to promote him to Double-A any easy one. Pitching for the Curve, Cole registered a 2.90 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 59 frames, to go along with a 60:23 BB:K. He hasn't looked elite in big showcases such as the 2011 AFL Rising Stars Game and 2012 Futures Game, but he's proven otherwise consistent. To think that his 100-mph fastball (which borders on the flat side) might be no better than his third best pitch is a good problem to have.
Time will tell whether the Pirates made the right move selecting Cole first overall in the 2011 draft, but his good size, downward plane and right-handed delivery dovetail perfectly with the profile of general manager Neal Huntington's ideal starting pitcher. The 6-foot-4 power hurler hit 100 mph regularly in the Arizona Fall League and offers a plus slider and changeup. Cole never put up dominating numbers at UCLA and was actually outpitched by fellow first-round pick Trevor Bauer. His pedigree dates to high school, however, when he was selected in the first round by the Yankees in 2008. Pittsburgh does not typically advance prospects quickly, making it unlikely that Cole sees the major leagues until 2013, at the earliest.
More Fantasy News
On track to start Thursday
PHouston Astros
August 19, 2019
Cole (hamstring) said he expects to start Thursday against the Tigers, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Bullpen scheduled for Monday
PHouston Astros
August 18, 2019
Cole (hamstring) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday afternoon, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Plays catch Friday
PHouston Astros
August 17, 2019
Cole (hamstring) played catch Friday for the first time since being scratched from Tuesday's start, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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On track to return next week
PHouston Astros
August 15, 2019
Manager AJ Hinch said Thursday that he expects Cole (hamstring) to slot back into the Houston rotation next week, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports.
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Injury not overly serious
PHouston Astros
August 14, 2019
Cole (hamstring) said his injury is "not super serious," Brian McTaggart of reports.
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