Legends On Deck

Prospects On Deck: SP Aaron Nola – Phillies

On the heels of an excellent college career pitching for LSU, the Phillies made Aaron Nola the 7th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. Philadelphia signed the right-hander, giving him a $3.3MM signing bonus and sent him to Clearwater of the Florida State League.

Upon his arrival to pro ball, the 6’1″ Baton Rouge native would immediately prove he was on the fast track, pitching well enough for seven games to earn himself a promotion to Double-A Reading. When the 2014 season came to a close, the Phillies shiny new toy would compile a 2.93 ERA in 55.1 innings. He struck out 45 and walked just 10 in that span.

Nola would enter 2015 with plenty of expectations; now widely considered the Phils top pitching prospect, and second best prospect overall. So far he hasn’t done anything to temper those expectations– if anything he’s raised them. Through 12 starts back in Reading, the 22-year old has posted a 1.88 ERA with 59 strikeouts and a mere nine walks in 76 innings– earning himself a move to Triple-A this week.

On the mound, Nola features a low 90’s fastball that deceives hitters due to his slightly lower arm angle. His best secondary offering is his changeup, an above average pitch that the righty displays a feel for. His curveball is improving, and could eventually be his best weapon. An easy, repeatable delivery helps Nola command his pitches like a veteran, and is the key to his success.

With the Phillies struggles, and the possibility that they may soon become sellers, Nola may be in the majors before you know it.

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Kirk Cahill

Contributing Writer at Legends On Deck®
Kirk is very knowledgeable of MLB's minor league system and brings a passion for writing about the stars of tomorrow. Kirk is also a contributing writer for MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net. He is a native New Yorker and lifelong Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @KirkC_.