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01/17/12 12:02 PM EST

Top pick Cole among six invited to spring camp

Pitching prospect Gerrit Cole, the top overall pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft, was among six players invited to Major League Spring Training by the Pirates on Tuesday.

The Pirates also sent out Spring Training invites to 2009 first-round pick Tony Sanchez, a catcher; 2011 Minor League Player of the Year, outfielder Robbie Grossman; pitcher Mike Crotta; and catchers Ramon Cabrera and Eric Fryer.

Pittsburgh has invited 17 players to big league camp who aren't on the 40-man roster.

Cole, who received an $8 million signing bonus when he signed in August, made his pro debut in the Arizona Fall League and was impressive, going 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five starts. He struck out six batters and walked four in 15 innings.

Grossman, drafted in the sixth round in 2008, hit .294 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs last year for Class A Bradenton of the Florida State League. Sanchez batted .241 with five homers and 44 RBIs at Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League in 2011.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.