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A.J. Cole | Starting Pitcher

Team: Washington Nationals
Age / DOB:  (23) / 1/5/1992
Ht / Wt:  6'5' / 200
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
Contract: view contract details
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Nationals optioned RHP A.J. Cole to Triple-A Syracuse.
Cole really struggled in his major league debut Wednesday, yielding nine runs -- four earned -- in two innings. He'll return to Syracuse's rotation. Apr 29 - 2:19 PM

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Date:

A.J. Cole was hammered in his major league debut, giving up nine runs (four earned) in two innings, but avoided a loss as the Nationals came back to win on Tuesday against the Braves.

Cole came into the season ranked as one of baseball's top pitching prospects, earning a #30 overall ranking from Baseball Prospectus, even. But the Braves collected nine hits and a walk -- as well as a fielding error by Cole -- to jump out to a 9-1 lead after two innings. The 23-year-old right-hander did at least manage to record a strikeout. Cole, filling in for Max Scherzer (thumb), will likely head back to Triple-A Syracuse. The poor outing makes it more likely Tanner Roark gets the ball if the Nationals need a spot start later on.
Apr 28 - 11:09 PM

Nationals recalled RHP A.J. Cole from Triple-A Syracuse.

With Max Scherzer (thumb) pushed back, the Nationals considered using Tanner Roark for a spot start Tuesday against the Braves, but they ultimately opted for Cole to pitch in what will be his major league debut. Scherzer is expected to be fine in a couple of days, so Cole will likely be sent right back down after the game. The 23-year-old posted a 2.40 ERA and 10/1 K/BB ratio over his first 15 innings in Triple-A this season.
Apr 28 - 2:32 PM

A.J. Cole will make his major league debut on Tuesday versus the Braves.

The Nationals have decided to keep Tanner Roark in the bullpen rather than giving him the spot start. Ranked by Baseball America before the season as the team's No. 6 prospect, Cole boasts a 2.40 ERA and 10/1 K/BB ratio over his first 15 innings at Triple-A Syracuse this season. He'll be making just the one start, as Max Scherzer (thumb) is expected to be ready in a couple days.
Apr 27 - 10:53 PM

Nationals prospect A.J. Cole fired six shutout frames Tuesday for Triple-A Syracuse.

Cole has actually been hit fairly hard this year (18 hits in 15 innings), but he's kept the damage to a minimum (2.40 ERA). He's been throwing strikes, walking just one of the 63 batters he's faced this year. The 23-year-old has the goods, but it's going to be tough for him to break into the Nationals' star-studded rotation.
Source: MILB.com
Apr 22 - 2:23 PM

Nationals optioned RHP A.J. Cole to Triple-A Syracuse.

One of the Nationals' top pitching prospects, Cole had a 3.16 ERA and 111/32 K/BB ratio in 134 innings across 25 starts between Double- and Triple-A. Baseball America recently ranked the 23-year-old as the No. 91 prospect in the sport. The Nationals' rotation is difficult to crack, but he's not far off.
Mar 18 - 8:40 AM

Nationals purchased the contract of RHP A.J. Cole from Triple-A Syracuse.

Cole is now protected from the Rule-5 Draft. He is a legitimate prospect, having been ranked at No. 69 by Baseball America prior to the 2014 season. The righty went 7-0 with a 3.43 ERA at Triple-A last season.
Thu, Nov 20, 2014 04:55:00 PM

Nationals prospect RHP A.J. Cole allowed three runs on four hits and three walks and struck out eight batters over five innings on Monday for Triple-A Syracuse.

Cole, 22, is 7-0 with a 3.43 ERA over 63 innings since moving up to Triple-A, but he’s only fanned 50 batters against 17 walks during that span, while opposing hitters are batting .283 with an .800 OPS and nine home runs. On the season, he’s posted a 13-3 record to go along with a 3.16 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 111-32 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 134 innings between the Double- and Triple-A levels. The right-hander won’t carve out a consistent role with the Nationals until 2015 (at the earliest), but a September promotion to work out of the team’s bullpen is a distinct possibility.
Tue, Aug 26, 2014 04:12:00 PM

Nationals right-handed pitching prospect A.J. Cole struck out six over seven shutout innings for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday.

Cole held Triple-A Buffalo to three singles and threw 67 of his 94 pitches for strikes (71.3 percent). Cole has been hit pretty hard in Triple-A, with opposing batters hitting .281/.296/.471 against him, though he does have a 2.64 ERA to go with his 1.207 WHIP and 7.0. The high isolated power (.190) is troubling, but Cole is unlikely to reach the major leagues until 2015, though a September call-up is a distinct possibility.
Thu, Jul 24, 2014 08:50:00 AM

Nationals right-handed pitching prospect A.J. Cole allowed seven hits and walked two batters while allowing five runs (three earned) over five innings for Double-A Harrisburg.

Cole has alternated good starts with bad starts all season, so this is his obligatory clunker. He has held opposing batters to a .275/.318/.324 line with a 2.56 ERA, but his 1.341 WHIP (made up of a 10.1 H/9 and 2.0 BB/9) and 7.1 K/9 will need to be improved before he has a chance at a promotion.
Fri, Jun 13, 2014 08:21:00 AM

Nationals prospect RHP A.J. Cole allowed one run on three hits and struck out five batters in as many innings on Sunday for Double-A Harrisburg.

Cole, 22, won his season debut last week after allowing one run in five innings, but he failed to record a strikeout in the start. Sunday was a different story, though, as the right-hander tallied five punchouts en route to his second win. Cole has big-time arm strength, with a fastball that registers in the mid-90s, but his lack of a consistently effective breaking ball has prevented him from making a quick rise to the major leagues. That being said, there's still a realistic chance he receives an audition with the Nationals at some point in 2014.
Mon, Apr 14, 2014 01:50:00 PM

Nationals reassigned RHP A.J. Cole to minor league camp; optioned LHP Felipe Rivero to Double-A Harrisburg.

Cole is the No. 53 prospect in the game, according to Baseball Prospectus. He went 10-5 with a 3.60 ERA over 25 starts between High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in 2013. With another strong campaign, he could make his big league debut this season. Rivero, meanwhile, was acquired last month from the Rays with OF Drew Vettleson and C Jose Lobaton for RHP Nate Karns. The 22-year-old Venezuelan had a 3.40 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 91/52 K/BB ratio in 127 innings last season at High-A Charlotte.
Wed, Mar 12, 2014 11:29:00 AM

Nationals prospect RHP A.J. Cole has registered a 1.73 ERA and 26/7 K/BB ratio in 26 innings following a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg in late July.

The 21-year-old was promoted to the more advanced level after posting a 4.25 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 102/23 K/BB in 97 1/3 innings for High-A Potomac in the Carolina League. Although he's been knocked around at times this season, the right-hander has showcased swing-and-miss stuff with a mid-90s fastball, as well as a curveball and changeup that both project to be above-average offerings at maturity. Cole is expected to begin the 2014 season back at Double-A with a chance at reaching the major leagues later in the year.
Tue, Aug 13, 2013 01:35:00 PM

The Nationals have promoted prospect right-hander A.J. Cole to Double-A Harrisburg.

Cole, who was re-acquired by the Nationals during the winter, gets a promotion after posting a 4.25 ERA and 102/23 K/BB ratio in 97 1/3 innings over 18 starts with High-A Potomac. The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the team's best pitching prospects.
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 10:56:00 AM

Nationals acquired RHP A.J. Cole from the Athletics in a three-team trade.

Cole, 21, returns to the organization that drafted him after being traded to the A's last winter in the Gio Gonzalez deal. The right-hander put up a 3.70 ERA with 133 strikeouts over 133 2/3 innings between Low- and High-A in 2012.
Wed, Jan 16, 2013 08:04:00 PM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Wilson Ramos
2Jose Lobaton
1B1Ryan Zimmerman
2Tyler Moore
3Clint Robinson
2B1Yunel Escobar
2Danny Espinosa
3Dan Uggla
SS1Ian Desmond
3B1Anthony Rendon
LF1Jayson Werth
2Reed Johnson
CF1Denard Span
2Nate McLouth
RF1Bryce Harper
2Michael Taylor
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Stephen Strasburg
2Max Scherzer
3Jordan Zimmermann
4Doug Fister
5Gio Gonzalez
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Drew Storen
2Aaron Barrett
3Craig Stammen
4Matt Thornton
5Casey Janssen
6Tanner Roark
7Blake Treinen
8Felipe Rivero
9Erik Davis
10Matt Grace
11Sammy Solis