For the first time in quite a while, the Phillies picked in the top ten in this year’s MLB first-year player draft. That gave them a chance to follow up on last years selection of shortstop J.P. Crawford, by picking a player who will hopefully be part of their future sooner, rather than later.
With that pick the Phillies elected to go with LSU right-hander Aaron Nola, who has been one of the best pitchers in the nation of the past two seasons. Nola, who throws a curveball, fastball, and two-seamer, followed up a Junior season where he posted a 1.57 ERA, by going 11-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 2014. That’s pretty damn good.
I searched and searched to find a good scouting report in video form of Nola and didn’t find much of one. However, this video puts his college dominance in perspective.
According to Big League Futures, this is the list of accomplishments that Nola (who fittingly played in Louisiana) racked up in his time at LSU.
- 2013 NCBWA 1st Team All-American
- 2013 ABCA 1st Team All-American
- 2013 Louisville Slugger 1st Team All-American
- 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year
- 2013 National Pitcher of the Year Watch List
- 2013 All-Louisiana 1st Team
- 2012 SEC All-Freshman Team
- 2012 Named the #16 Prospect in the Cape League by Perfect Game
- 2012 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American 1st Team
- 2012 Perfect Game Freshman All-American 1st Team
- 2012 Baseball America Freshman All-American 2nd Team
- 2012 All- Louisiana 2nd Team
- 2012 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team
I’d be making an ass of myself if I said that I watch college baseball, because I don’t, but on paper this seems like a pretty solid selection. With uncertainty of the long-term futures for everyone in the Phillies rotation not named Cole Hamels, and Jesse Biddle being considered the only above-average pitching prospect in the system, having Nola reach the MLB in late 2015 or for 2016, could help to steer the negative perspective of the Phillies long-term rotation.