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Can Aaron Nola Continue to Develop Past a Middle-Rotation Arm?

Aaron Nola (Kathy Willens/AP)

Aaron Nola (Kathy Willens/AP)


Aaron Nola has had himself an up and down sophomore season for the Philadelphia Phillies. The right-hander has had outings where he absolutely dominates and others where he is less than mediocre. Currently, Nola is 5-6 with a 3.51 ERA, which, to many Phillies fans seems less than ideal for a player that was once considered a top prospect in the Phillies organization.

Aaron has always been known as a player with great command of the pitches in his arsenal. The problem that was always talked about by scouts was that he does not possess any dominant pitches.

Nola has three solid pitches: a fastball, curveball, and change-up. Although this is a quality repertoire of pitches, none of these pitches are considered “plus” pitches by scouts.

Coming out of LSU, many scouts pegged Nola as a player with a high floor. He was projected to be a number three starter once he got to the big leagues. They saw a player with impressive command, but didn’t have the potential to grow much more than what he already was in college.

Nola’s control and poise was what helped him get through the minors so quickly and allowed him to get called up to the Phillies major league team in a little over a year from when he was drafted.

So far, it seems as if scouts may have been spot on about what Nola would become in the majors. When you think of a number three pitcher in a rotation, what generally comes to mind is a pitcher who you can rely on to keep you in the ball game, but ever so often have a rough outing. That seems to be what Nola has been so far.

Although Nola seemed to be destined as a number three pitcher, that doesn’t mean it is impossible to see him develop further than what scouts had predicted. After all, Nola is only 23, so he has his entire career ahead of him to improve upon his craft. Some scouts have recently spoken out about his curveball saying that it has already advanced further than what was once projected proving that there is a chance for his other pitches to grow.

Aaron Nola has done well as a starter for the Phillies. He has had some tough outings, but overall, has been a pitcher this team can count on to keep them in games. Hopefully, the more Nola pitches, the more comfortable he will become and the more he’ll develop. Whatever the case, Nola has all the makings of a player that will be around in the MLB for a long time.

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