The Philadelphia Phillies are a team on the rise, thanks to a roster filled with young talent. At the forefront of that group is pitcher Aaron Nola, who looks ready to become one of the best young pitchers in the MLB.
After years of being a bottom feeder team in the NL East, it’s time for the Philadelphia Phillies to come out and compete with the best competition in baseball for a chance to make it back to the playoffs. The team might not jump right back into the playoffs, but for the first time in several years, they have a fighting chance, and a big reason for that is a group of young players ready to lead the team.
Whenever the Phillies take the field, you can always expect to see Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro or Scott Kingery in the lineup, which is a high amount of top tier youth no other team in baseball has. This not only sets the Phillies apart, but the growing strength of the pitching rotation also stands out, all thanks to the homegrown ace.
Aaron Nola has everything it takes to become a star. He has the repertoire to mow down lineups, swagger on the mound, and the track record to believe this success is only the beginning. After a rough stretch in 2016 where serious questions arose about both Nola’s durability and his production, this past season was a complete 180 degree turn. His record (12-11) didn’t show how great he was all season, but his ERA paints a different picture, one that shows he is able to retire batters with the best of them (3.54 ERA in 168.0 innings).
He may not be the only reason why Jake Arrieta decided to sign with the Phillies, but the amount of young potential stars on the roster definitely didn’t turn him away, which could be something fans should get used to over the next few years. Like many other Philadelphia sports teams, young talent is attractive to free agents, as the Arrieta signing shows, and with the potential for increased success this season, other top tier players may follow. As much as Nola effects the team on the field, he also helps shape the team off of it.
Now, with a stronger lineup there will be more chances for Nola to increase many of the career highs he set last season. The added offense should help him increase his win total, making his stats look that much more appealing. Consistency is key for Nola, and if he can keep moving forward, he has the looks of one of the best young pitchers in baseball.
With Opening Day quickly approaching, the Phillies will start the season with the ace they have raised on the mound. Mostly overlooked for most of his career so far, Nola now has the chance to breakout because of the added attention Philadelphia will be receiving. Phillies fans may know what Nola brings to the table, but now it’s time for the national audience to see exactly what the budding superstar can do.