Three Bradenton Marauders were named to Baseball America’s 2012 Florida State League Top Prospects list for the first time in franchise history.
Pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon became the first Marauders to crack the top five, placing second and third. Shortstop Gift Ngoepe ranked 20th among top prospects.
Cole’s second-place ranking is the highest rank achieved by a Marauder, the Advanced-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cole spent the first half of the 2012 season in Bradenton before ascending to pitch in double-A and triple-A during the second half.
The top pick in the 2011 draft out of UCLA did not disappoint in his first professional season, posting a 5-1 record and a 2.55 ERA during his tenure with the Marauders. Overall on the season, Cole was 9-7 and struck out 136 batters in 132 innings. Cole is eligible to appear on the Eastern League Top 20 Prospect List, which will be released today at www.baseballamerica.com.
Taillon won three Pitcher of the Week awards in 2012, claiming two in the Florida State League and one in the Eastern League to complete his season. He was drafted second overall in 2010.
Baseball America also ranked Taillon fourth on the South Atlantic League Top 20 Prospects list in 2011. Taillon went 6-8 with a 3.82 ERA for the Marauders before being promoted to double-A Altoona, where he posted a 3-0 record with a 1.59 ERA after the promotion.
Ngoepe was an offensive catalyst at the top of the Marauders’ lineup. He posted career-highs in hits (106), home runs (9) and stolen bases (22). Showing remarkable defensive talent, the native of South Africa had a .963 fielding percentage and was recognized as the top defensive shortstop in the league in Baseball America’s 2012 Best Tools Survey.
Ngoepe will compete against other top prospects this fall as a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.
Previous Marauders to appear in Baseball America’s postseason prospect rankings are Tony Sanchez and Diego Moreno. Both players appeared on the 2010 list, with Sanchez placing sixth and Moreno listed 16th.
Baseball America’s Top 20 Prospects lists are voted on by league managers and scouts that follow the league.
Baseball America’s complete list of the Florida State League’s top prospects can be viewed online at www.baseballamerica.com. For more information about the Bradenton Marauders, visit BradentonMarauders.com, call 941-747-3031or email MaraudersInfo@Pirates.com.