Cole, you may recall, was taken by the Yankees in the first round last season, No. 28 overall. A 6-foot-4 right-hander from Orange County, Calif., Cole had an overpowering fastball and grew up a fan of the Yankees. Some teams backed off Cole because Scott Boras was his advisor. But the Yankees pounced.
But in what was a surprise to Boras and certainly a shock to the Yankees, Cole refused to negotiate. He went to UCLA and the Yankees were never able to make a firm offer. To this day, it’s something that the Yankees can’t quite figure out. After indicating before the draft that he was willing to sign, Cole backed away.
Cole made the All-Pac 10 Team has a freshman. In 15 games, he pitched 85 innings and allowed only 57 hits while striking out 104. But thanks to 13 unearned runs and a lack of run support, he went 4-8. UCLA finished 27-29.
So while Cole remains a very impressive prospect, he’s stuck on an unimpressive team.
As for the Yankees, they have the No. 29 pick in the draft this season as compensation for not signing Cole.
Here’s where the Yankees pick in the first four rounds:
No. 76 (compensation for not signing second-round pick Scott Bittle)
They lost these picks as compensation for free agents signed: