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MLB Draft 2011: Pirates Kick Off NL Central Picks With Gerrit Cole

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Gerritt Cole, a UCLA starter with a triple-digits fastball, to kick off the NL Central's night at the 2011 MLB Draft Monday. It was the first of just five picks the teams in the division had in the first 60; none of the teams had compensation picks, while the St. Louis Cardinals selected Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong with the 22nd overall pick in the draft.

After Cole came Javier Baez, the Chicago Cubs' first pick at ninth overall. Baez has "explosive bat speed and outstanding power potential," although John Sickels isn't sure he'll be able to stick at shortstop. The Astros went for athletic center fielder George Springer with the 11th pick, giving them a prospect they might be able to build around in a decimated minor league system. The Milwaukee Brewers selected a left-handed pitcher, Jed Bradley, who they hope will move fast and take up residence in the middle of their rotation, which has long been a sore spot. Finally, the Reds selected Robert Stephenson 27th overall, going the high-upside prep starter route.