Skip to main content

PhoulBallz Interview: Top Phils Draft Pick Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola, image- Tug Haines
The Phillies' top pick from this year's draft, righty hurler Aaron Nola, has looked very good in the early stages of his pro career. In nine games combined in the minors, the 21-year-old LSU product sports a 3-3 record with a 3.35 ERA while striking out 36 batters and walking seven in 40 1/3 innings.

Over the weekend, I spoke with Nola, who was recently promoted to Double-A Reading, about his draft experience, the possibility of being shut down before season's end, the transition from college to the pro's, looking up to his brother Austin and more. Read ahead for that full interview.

-What was your draft experience like? How did you celebrate?

We had a party over at LSU in our lounge and it was a bunch of family and some friends over there. We had about 100 people actually, so it was pretty big. It was fun. It was a fun time and it's definitely something I'm going to remember for the rest of my life. The draft and getting picked early by the Phillies.

-How do you think pitching at LSU prepared you for your transition to the minor leagues?

It prepared me, man. I'm glad I went to LSU. I matured more. I matured on the field. Also my physical and mental ability rose up in college, you know, you see a lot of older guys that I'm playing against right now, 23 to 26 year old guys, and I feel like a lot of the guys I played against in college are in high A. I haven't seen too many in Double-A, but I saw a lot of guys down in Clearwater that I played against one, two or three years in college.

-When you were drafted there were experts that asserted you'd be one of the first players out of this year's draft to reach the majors. What does that type of forecast mean to you?

It's good to me that they have that much confidence in me. I'm just going to try to work my hardest to move up each level, but I'm focused on Double-A right now and, you know, where ever that takes me, that takes me. I'm just focused on each start here right now, trying to get better each start.

-Has the transition from college to being a professional pitcher been what you expected?

I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I knew it wasn't going to be a breeze. It was different in college. Things change. You get your new teams, new hitters, new everything. New fans, new crowd, different levels, you know, you got bigger crowds, smaller crowds. In college, we always had a big crowd. That's my biggest adjustment right now is moving levels and meeting people. I'm meeting a lot of guys with each club and they give me a lot of tips, a lot of older guys that I can take tips from.

-What are your thoughts on the coaches here in the Phils' organization thus far?

I'm anxious to work with them more and more as this season goes on and as this season finishes and then next year. That's another big thing, as you move levels you meet new guys and you meet new coaches, new strength coaches and new trainers. You've just got to take everything, all the tips they bring you and you put them all together.

-Some people suspect that the Phillies may wish for you to stop pitching before the end of the season to limit your workload. If that's the case, would you be on board with that decision and how much input do you think you'd have?

If they want me to go three more starts, 170 innings, that's fine with me. I can do it. But, you know, whatever (the Phillies) want me to do, I'm going to agree with them and I'm right with them on their decisions.

-Who were some of your favorite players to watch as you were growing up?

I just like watching a lot of pitchers, a lot of baseball and a lot of games with my brother, he's a couple years older than me and he's played ball a little longer than I have, so I watched a lot of his games, but, you know, Pedro Martinez is one guy that I liked. I watched a lot of videos with him and then Mike Leake. We're kind of similar guys, he has my kind of arm slot, so I kind of pick items from them and add them into my arsenal, stuff like that. But at the end of the day, I'm myself. I go out each time and do my thing, do what I know and what I can do.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl