Cole Braden Gillespie
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
- School Oregon State University
- High School West Linn High School
- Debut April 21, 2010
Gillespie hit .532 as a high school senior and went 5-2 with a 0.76 ERA on the mound. He was named All-State at shortstop. He enrolled at Oregon State University and was redshirted in 2003. As a freshman in 2004, he hit .290/.371/.500 in a part-time role. The next year, he batted .319/.455/.362 and saw increased playing time. With Jacoby Ellsbury having graduated, Gillespie took a lead role in the outfield in 2006. He hit .374/.493/.685 with 15 steals in 19 tries, 13 homers and 83 runs in 63 games. Gillespie led the Pacific-10 Conference in runs and was 4th in average. He was named the Conference Player of the Year and was a consensus All-American. Gillespie made the All-Tournament team for the 2006 College World Series, helping Oregon State to its first national title.
Gillespie was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 3rd round of the 2006 amateur draft, the 92nd overall pick, and signed with scout Brandon Newell for a $417,500 bonus. Assigned to the Helena Brewers, the Portland native produced at a .344/.464/.548 rate with 49 runs in 51 games and 18 steals in 22 tries. He drew 40 walks. He led the Pioneer League in OBP but failed to make the league All-Star team. Baseball America rated him the #11 prospect in the circuit.
Cole slipped a bit in 2007. With the Brevard County Manatees, he hit .267/.378/.420 with 16 steals in 24 tries and 72 walks. He had 12 outfield assists to tie Eric Nielsen for the Florida State League lead. Moving up to AA with the Huntsville Stars for 2008, Gillespie hit .281/.386/.472 with 73 runs, 38 doubles, 14 home runs, 79 RBI, 17 steals in 18 tries and 75 walks. He led Milwaukee farmhands in walks and tied Caleb Gindl for the most doubles. On April 30, he had 3 doubles and a homer to lead Huntsville when they tied the Southern League record with 13 extra-base hits.
In 2009, the Portland native hit .242/.332/.424 in 75 games for the Nashville Sounds and .349/.431/.605 in 12 for Brevard County. Milwaukee then dealt him with Roque Mercedes to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Felipe López. Gillespie batted .304/.418/.514 in 42 games for the Reno Aces, scoring 33 runs, following the deal.
Gillespie began 2010 with Reno, hitting .283/.411/.457 with 10 walks in 12 games. He was called up to the majors to replace fellow rookie Jordan Norberto. Cole made his debut in The Show as a pinch-hitter for Edwin Jackson with a 4-2 deficit in the bottom of the 8th. He doubled off Chris Carpenter and later came around to score on a Trever Miller wild pitch. Arizona would wind up tying the game before St. Louis ran away with it in the 9th.