The New York Yankees have rocked the baseball world by signing former Houston Astros' ace Gerrit Cole to a 9-year, $324 Million contract - a $36 Million annual salary. Cole was the prized free agent this off-season and the move undoubtedly closes the gap between the Yankees and Astros, the two teams featured in the 2019 American League Championship Series.
Cole, a 29-year old from Newport Beach, Ca. was a highly touted high school prospect who was drafted in the first round by the Yankees in 2008; however, at that time Cole opted to accept a college baseball scholarship at UCLA. More than a decade later, Cole's career has come full circle as he'll finally sport pinstripes in "The Bronx."
The 2019 season proved to be an exceptional "walk year" for Cole, as he compiled a 20-5 record, 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts for the AL Champion Astros. It was the finest season in what had already been a solid MLB career for the former Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros starter, and three-time All-Star.
MLB hitters face a daunting task when it comes to an at-bat versus Cole, a power pitcher who features a 94-98 MPH two-seam and four-seam fastball, slider, knuckle-curve, sinker and a change-up. It's hard to simulate the New York Yankees shiniest new toy in real life, but MaxBP Reaction Training is willing to give it a shot.
MaxBP Pitch #1, Gerrit Cole, fastball, right-handed, 98 MPH
To recreate a 98-MPH fastball from Gerrit Cole, stand approximately 3o feet from the MaxBP Pro Machine and configure the settings to high and turbo. This will present a developing hitter with a realistic representation of the bat speed necessary to get around on Cole's heat.
MaxBP Pitch #2, Gerrit Cole, slider, right-handed, 88 MPH
To simulate Cole's 88 MPH slider on a MaxBP Pro Machine, set the machine approximately 25 feet from the hitter and configure the MaxBP to the righty curve + slider setting. By getting endless reps of this particular off-speed pitch, developing hitters will be prepared to deliver the big hit on the breaking stuff.
MaxBP Pitch #3, Gerrit Cole, knuckle curve, right-handed, 86 MPH
It's tough to recreate the action of a nasty knuckle ball; however, MaxBP can simulate the trajectory of the curve on Cole's knuckle curveball. To recreate this pitch, set the MaxBP Pro machine to righty curve + curve setting and stand approximately 25 feet from the machine. MaxBP's small ball training will have you prepared to battle that knuckle curve, to the tune of 120 reps per round, in the span of 15 minutes.
If you're looking for more major league pitches to simulate, check out the rest of the Recreate with MaxBP series. For best results, it is recommended to incorporate a Better Bat Skinny Barrel Training Bat into you practice regimen.