Aaron Nola

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School: SCHOOL
Position: POSBats/Throws: B/T
Year Acquired by Phillies: YYYY
Height: X’ XX”Weight: XXX lbs
Options Remaining: X
Rule 5 Eligible: YYYY
MiLB Free Agency: YYYY

Stats: MiLB | B-Ref | Fangraphs | Baseball America | Baseball Prospectus | MLBFarm

Pitch Data:

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Pre Draft:

Aaron Nola showed up on LSU’s campus in 2011 after not signing with the Blue Jays after being drafted in the 22nd round.  Out of high school Nola’s fastball was 89-91 and he paired it with a good changeup.  Nola’s stock jumped his junior year where he put up some of the best numbers in college baseball while showing a fastball that was 92-94 and touched as high as 96.  He was able to command the pitch with life all around the zone.  Nola also showed a breaking ball and changeup that both could project as plus.  He was expected to go in the half of the first round.

Scouting Report:


Fastball: Nola’s fastball has been 91-93 as a pro, touching 94.  Early in the year he was showing late exploding run on the fastball, but the pitch has flattened as he has tired.  He may be able to regain the 92-94 with a full offseason to recover.  He is able to command the pitch to every part of the strike zone.

Breaking Ball:  There is plenty of debate over whether the pitch is a slider or a curveball, it comes out loopier and a slower speed than some sliders (78-80), but it is a bit harder than a standard curveball and can have large lateral movement based on Nola’s low 3/4 arm slot.  Either way the pitch has been his best pitch in pro ball and he been able to use it both for swinging strikes and freezing right handed batters and dropping it for a called strike.

Changeup: Nola’s changeup was his best pitch out of high school but the pitch has taken a step back since then.  The pitch comes in at 82-84 and will flash good sink and bite, but he doesn’t show that consistently.  Some have noted a separation in arm speed from the fastball to the changeup in pro-ball, but it could also be fatigue.  The development of the changeup will be integral to Nola erasing the platoon splits that showed up this year.

Complete Profile: At minimum Aaron Nola’s arsenal would play as a back end starter to open the 2015 season.  If he can find the 92-94 T 96 fastball and solidify the feel for the secondary arsenal he could develop into a #2/#3 starter.  Because of the low arm slot and height Nola is always going to struggle to keep the ball in the park when he misses up.  Overall Nola has a really good feel for pitching which gives some hope that he will make the necessary adjustments to succeed in the major leagues.  Nola should make his major league debut at some point in the 2015 season.

2015 Preseason:

Role: #2/#3 Starter
Risk: Low – Nola is major league ready right now.  However, he could use some time in the minors to continue to polish his control and secondary pitches.
Summary:  Nola has been described as “safe” and “polished”, words that may give some the impression that he lacks impact as a pitching prospect.  Nola’s fastball sits 90-93 and routinely touches 95, and in college he was able to get to 97 in a big showdown with Tyler Beede.  The discussion of his velocity overshadows the explosive late life on his fastball, though this movement was less present late in the season as he tired.  The more advanced of Nola’s secondary pitches is his breaking ball, which is really a curveball but Nola’s arm slot makes it look like a slider, that he can spot in the zone and use it as a chase pitch.  The general consensus is that it has plus potential if he gains consistency.  Nola also has a changeup that flashes plus potential, but Nola does not use it as confidently as the fastball or curveball.  On top of the three plus pitches, Nola has good control, is developing solid command, and has an impressive feel for pitching.  On an individual basis, Nola’s stuff is only solid, but the full collection makes for an impressive arsenal.  The likely outcome for Nola is as a mid-rotation starter who could get there fairly quickly.  However, Nola’s feel for pitching could see continued growth in his secondary pitches, as well as results that are above his individual pitch grades.  Nola will start 2015 in the minors, and he should make the majors at some point in the second half of the 2015 season.



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Injury History:

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