2007 Draft Q&A: Cole Cook

Cole Cook has recently put himself in position as one of the top high school pitching prospects in the 2007 draft class. Armed with a low-90's heater and a power breaking ball, Cook's stock is on the rise. We recently sat down with Cole for an in-depth Q&A session.

Scout.com: First of all, how would you describe your style of pitching? What is your approach and is there a MLB pitcher that you like to compare yourself to or model yourself after in terms if style?

Cole Cook: I would say that I am a very aggressive competitive pitcher. When I get on the mound, every pitch turns into a battle between me and the hitter. I like to establish my fastball on all the batters I face, then I pick which other pitches I want to throw depending on how their swing looked on the fastball and what they did with the pitch. I have always tried to mold myself after Mark Prior, but I think in terms of pitching mentality I am more like Pedro Martinez, in the sense that I'm all for having fun, but when I get on the mound, it's all business.

Scout.com: Please describe your repertoire. What pitches do you throw, what are their velocities, which are your best pitches, etc.?

Cole Cook: I have three pitches that I throw: 1. Fastball - 91-94mph 2. Power Curve - 78-81mph 3. Splitter (I don't know the velocity.) My best pitch is definitely my fastball. I have been known to resort to my power curve when I need a strike in a 2-0 count. But for the majority of the time, my fastball is the pitch I rely on to get ahead and to get a clutch strike.

Scout.com: This next year will be very significant for you. What are some improvements that you would really like to make in that time?

Cole Cook: Next year, my most important thing for me to work on would be my control and command of my pitches. I had a lot of strikeouts this year but unfortunately I also had a lot of walks. I would like to come away from next year with a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (this year it was a little more than 2:1).

Scout.com: What do you feel is your strongest attribute as a pitcher? In other words, what sets you apart?

Cole Cook: Many guys throw as hard as me and a handful throw harder, and a lot of guys have my stuff. What sets me apart is my competitive drive, like I said before, when I get on the mound, it's a fight to the finish. It's my experience that kids at these showcases have a hard time bringing that completive fire out in their one or two inning performance. For me, I take it as a personal attack that a batter is trying to get the better of me in front of all these people.

Scout.com: In the research I've done on you, all the scouting reports rave about the great command of all your pitches that you have. What do you attribute that to, what allows you to control all your pitches so well?

Cole Cook: As of late, my pitching coach, Tom House, has given me some pointers to get my delivery as smooth and streamlined as possible, with as little extra movement as possible. This has really helped with my control and command. Also I work very hard in practice and at home on the grips of the pitches I throw and the way I need to throw them, to get them to do what I want them to.

Scout.com: What do you feel is the most important thing you've ever learned about pitching?

Cole Cook: My Dad has always told me to have a short memory on the mound. If you get racked, you move on and put that start behind you. Hopefully you can get a chance to face that team again and prove it was a fluke, but you can't dwell on the start because it will affect your performance. Also if you give up a home run, you have to come back strong and really go after the next batter.

Scout.com: When facing a tougher hitter in a lineup, describe your usual plan of attack. How do you go about getting a stronger hitter out?

Cole Cook: I have done so many of these showcases that I have grown accustomed to facing very strong hitters. At times like these, I look at the at-bat as a battle. The batter is trying to get the better of me and I do everything I can to not let that happen. I don't throw too many fastballs, but at the same time, I don't shy away from it either. I'll use my entire repertoire of pitches to sit him down.

Scout.com: What do you feel is the most improvement you've ever made on the mound?

Cole Cook: In the summer before ninth grade my dad taught me how to throw my power curve. It took me a month or so to learn, but after I got it down, I went from a one and half pitch pitcher to a solid two-pitch pitcher.

Scout.com: I understand you'll be playing in the Cape Cod Classic. What do you feel is the best way to go about pitching in big events like that? You've had some experience at PG National and performed well. Is there a good way to block out the people watching you and just pitch your game?

Cole Cook: I have a really good ability to simply not notice. Like I said, I've been doing these showcases since I was a rising sophomore, so I've become accustomed to it all.

Scout.com: Talk about your experience at the National Showcase. How do you feel you presented yourself and do you think you gave your best possible showing?

Cole Cook: I really liked my outing in Fayetteville, my velocity was good and my control was good. It wasn't the best possible outing I could have had, because usually I can rely on my deuce to really drop off and fool people, but it was staying up out of the zone and wasn't going where I wanted it to.

Scout.com: You are known for having a deceptive delivery. Is deception a big part of your game and what part of your delivery do you think is deceptive?

Cole Cook: My delivery is deceptive, but I never put any time into making it that way. My leg kick is very high and I rotate a little on the mound (kind of like Nomo). I guess that that deception makes the ball harder to pick up and thus harder to hit, but I never really planned it that way.

Scout.com: At this point, have you committed to a college, and if so, which one?

Cole Cook: I have yet to commit to a college. I'm still looking for one that fits me well.

Scout.com: If there was one thing you'd like a scout or coach to know about you that they may not pick up just by watching you pitch, what would it be?

Cole Cook: I am a very confident and extremely competitive person. I'm not sure if scouts always pick up on that. I was always told to subdue my competitiveness a bit and try to remain level headed on the mound, so maybe scouts don't see exactly how big of a competitive streak I have.

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