Aaron Nola

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Aaron Michael Nola

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Aaron Nola was drafted by he Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round of the 2011 amateur draft, but went on to college at Louisiana State University. He was then the #7 overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft and signed quickly, being assigned to the Class A Clearwater Threshers to begin his professional career. He went 4-3, 2.93 in 12 games between Clearwater and the AA Reading Fightin Phils in his first professional season. He began the 2015 season back with Reading, where he went 7-3, 1.88 in 12 starts to earn a promotion to the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs on June 18th. In 6 starts in the International League, he was 3-1, 3.58 when the Phillies, who were struggling with the worst record in the majors leagues, announced that he would be called up to make his big league debut after the All-Star Game.

His debut came for the Phillies against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 21, 2015. In front of one of the largest crowds of the year at Citizens Bank Park, he gave up only 1 run in 6 innings while keeping opposite hitters off-balance with his assortment of pitches; unfortunately, his teammates were unable to score at all and he was saddled with a 1-0 loss. Ironically, the only run came on the first major league homer by his opponent that day, Nathan Karns. He did not quite match that, but did collect his first big league hit with a single off Karns in the 5th, one of only four by the Phils on the night. He was the first Phillies player to make his major league debut in the year after being drafted since Pat Combs back in 1989. He earned his first big league win in his next start, on July 26th, defeating the Chicago Cubs, 9-5, at Wrigley Field. He went 6-2, 3.589 in 13 games, all starts.

In 2016, Nola went 6-9, 4.78 in 20 starts in his sophomore season. On the positive side, he struck out 121 batters in 111 innings. He started 2017 slowly, missing a month of action in late April and early May, and after 9 games on June 16th, he was only 3-5 with an ERA of 4.76. However, he then began a stretch of 7 starts during which he never gave up more than 2 runs. He went 5-1 over that period, with an ERA of 1.49, giving an inkling that he could be a future ace. On July 26th, he set a personal best with 10 strikeouts over 6 scoreless innings in defeating the powerful Houston Astros, 9-0. With a 3-1 win over the New York Mets on August 12th, he improved to 9-7 and pushed his streak of starts of 6 innings and 2 runs or less to 10, something no other Phillies pitcher had done since at least 1900.

His brother Austin Nola is an infielder in the Miami Marlins organization.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Brent Hershey: "100 Names to Know: Aaron Nola and Co. provide hope for Phillies", USA Today Sports, February 10, 2016. [1]
  • Todd Zolecki: "Nola feels '100 percent' after injury-shortened 2016", mlb.com, January 17, 2017. [2]

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