Florida Prep on Short List of Top Prospects in Entire 2010 Draft
The Washington Nationals tonight agreed to terms on a professional contract with right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole, the Nationals' fourth-round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Nationals Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Personnel Roy Clark and Nationals Director of Scouting Kris Kline made the joint announcement.
Cole joins the Nationals after combining to go 12-1 and fanning 10.7 batters per 9.0 innings during his junior and senior seasons at Oviedo (FL) High School. Cole, who stands 6-foot-5, earned All-American status from both AFLAC and Under Armour in 2009.
Cole, 18, was rated by industry-insider Baseball America as the No. 16 overall player, the eighth-best pitcher, among 2010 Draft-eligible prospects. Among those draft eligible from Florida, BA ranked Cole third among high school players. Cole had previously committed to attend the University of Miami.
In the summer of 2007, Cole tossed 4.0 scoreless innings for Team USA's Under-16 squad that went 6-0 during the 2007 World Youth Championships played in Venezuela.
The Nationals have signed or agreed to terms with 32 players from their 2010 First-Year Player Draft, including 24 of their top 26 selections.