The Phillies have come to terms with their first round pick, Aaron Nola. The Phillies took Nola seventh overall in last Thursday’s draft as he became the first of many college draft picks by the Phillies. Nola’s father A.J. Nola has said that the contract includes a $3.3 million dollar signing bonus, which is slot value for the seventh overall pick.
Nola, who was the LSU ace, compiled impressive numbers this past season with the Tigers. In 16 games this season Nola went 11-1 with a 1.47 ERA (16th in NCAA). He struck out 134 batters (2nd in NCAA) in 116.1 innings pitched. Hitters batted just .172 off of him this season, and his .83 WHIP was good for fourth among NCAA pitchers.
Scouts believe that Nola will be the first player from the 2014 draft class to reach the majors. Because of this I wouldn’t be surprised to see him thrust right into the struggling High A Clearwater Threshers rotation. The Threshers have struggled mightily this season with a record of 14-49 and the worst team ERA in the Florida State League (4.89).
With AJ Burnett, Kyle Kendrick, and Roberto Hernández on the last years of their contracts, and Cliff Lee the topic of impending trade talk, the Phillies will probably look to fast track Nola to the majors as they will likely have a pressing need for starting pitching come next season.