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Playoff-bound Cole, Meadows win September honors


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Gerrit Cole in action this summer. - AP

Former Pirates Austin Meadows and Gerrit Cole were named Monday the America League player and pitcher of the month, respectively, for September.

Meadows hit nine home runs with a .378 batting average and 1.216 OPS over 106 plate appearances in September, helping the Rays capture the AL's second wild card spot.

Meadows was named the Rays' co-MVP by the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writer's Association of America earlier this month. He finished the season with a .291/.364/.558 slash line, 33 home runs, 89 RBI and 3.8 WAR.

The other recipient of the Rays' team MVP award was RHP Charlie Morton, another ex-Pirate.

Meadows, of course, was part of a package of players the Pirates sent to the Rays for RHP Chris Archer. Also included in that trade were Tyler Glasnow, who recorded a 1.78 ERA over 60.2 innings pitched in 2019, and RHP Shane Baz, who is currently ranked as MLB Pipeline's 95th best prospect. That ranking should improve after Baz recorded a 2.99 ERA in A-ball this season.

Baz was also the youngest pitcher to appear in the Arizona Fall League this year.

In Houston, Cole went 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA over six starts in September. He had previously won pitcher of the month in June and July this season. Cole was also awarded Pitcher of the Week honors for the first time in his career last week.

Cole lead the junior circuit in ERA (2.50), FIP (2.64), strikeouts (326) and strikeout rate (39.9%). The last pitcher with as many strikeouts in a season as him was Randy Johnson in 2002.

He is considered to be a favorite for the AL Cy Young, with his main competition being teammate Justin Verlander.

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