Not even 24 hours removed from throwing an inning in Sunday's MLB All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City, Gerrit Cole was back in Altoona on Monday afternoon.
Recently ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the sport by Baseball America, Cole gave up a two-run homer in his inning of work, but he said he enjoyed himself at Kauffman Stadium.
"There was a great buzz at the ballpark and it was a lot of fun," Cole said after the Curve's afternoon contest with Binghamton.
While the Futures Game - which had a U.S. team square off against a World team - features what fans can expect to see down the road, there were many former great major leaguers from yesteryear in attendance.
Former Royals great George Brett managed Cole's U.S. team, while four-time World Series winner Bernie Williams was in charge of the World side.
"Rollie Fingers stopped in the dugout, Bo Jackson was in there, George Brett, obviously," Cole said. "There were a lot of Hall of Famers, a lot good players there."
The 21-year-old said he didn't see too many players that he watched growing up, however, Williams was one of them.
"Bernie Williams, I watched him all the time," Cole said. "A couple of those other guys are a little old for me, but you hear all the stories about them. It was just really cool to see them."
Fellow Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon also pitched an inning for the U.S. team. Taillon, who was the second pick in the 2010 MLB draft and currently plays for High-A Bradenton, allowed one run on two doubles in the sixth inning.
The U.S. ended up winning a slugfest, 17-5, and each side used at least nine pitchers and no hurler threw more than one inning.
Cole, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft hit 100 mph on the radar gun and had two strikeouts in the outing, but he said it was odd to prepare for.
"It was weird for everybody, we had 10 starters and I don't think anyone knew what to do," said Cole, who threw in the game's second inning. "I know [Taillon] was up and down three times, I was up and down twice. It was just awkward. But, you know, it's an exhibition game, you just go out there and really just try to throw fuzz and that's it."
In three outings with the Curve, Cole has a 2-1 record with a 4.63 ERA, and he has not pitched for the team since July 2. The UCLA product will rejoin the Curve's rotation after the All-Star break and is slated to start against Akron this Saturday.