Phillies Call Up Top Pitching Prospect Aaron Nola
There is actually some good news about the Phillies: Another promising minor leaguer is about to make his major league debut.
We were excited from the moment he was called up about Maikel Franco, and he’s rewarded us by hitting .284 with 10 homers and a .495 slugging percentage. Now, we get to be in on the ground floor with a pitching prospect.
The Phillies announced this morning that right-hander Aaron Nola will make his major league debut on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. He’ll wear No. 27.
Drafted in the 22nd round out of high school, Nola turned down the Blue Jays’ contract offer and played three seasons at Louisiana State University. He went 30-6 with a 2.09 ERA in college, and was picked seventh overall by the Phillies in last year’s draft.
Having played three seasons in college already, Nola was expected to be more major league-ready than any other player in the draft. He rose quickly through the minors, starting at Class-A+ Clearwater last season and ending at AA Reading. He went 7-3 with a 1.88 ERA for the Fightin Phils this season (he pitched at the game I went to) before being called up to AAA Lehigh Valley and going 3-1 with a 3.58 ERA.
Nola is the first Phillies draft pick to make his major league debut the season following his selection since Pat Combs, who made his debut as a call-up in September of 1989. Combs went 4-0 with a 2.07 ERA that year but only played three more seasons in the majors. Nola is also the first Phillies first-round pick to make the majors since Joe Savery (the 2007 draft). Savery had a circuitous route to the majors, including time spent as a converted hitter.
The Phillies pitching staff has a 4.83 ERA, worst in the National League.
Follow @dhm on Twitter.