2014: Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola was the first college player the Phillies drafted since 2007 and was regarded as a pitcher who could rise quickly through the system. That was the case as after just 30 minor-league games Nola made his major-league debut just a year after being drafted. Nola’s 2016 season put his future in question, but this year he is back on track.
As a whole this season, Nola has a 3.12 ERA, 25.4 percent strikeout rate, and 1.18 WHIP. His 3.6 bWAR is seventh-highest among NL pitchers and his 3.0 fWAR is 12th among all qualified pitchers. Nola has been among the league’s best pitchers this year.
Nola has easily been the team’s most successful first-round pick since Cole Hamels, with fans hoping Nola can be this generation’s version of Hamels – the homegrown pitcher who can center a World Series rotation.