4: Aaron Nola (7th overall 2014)
Aaron Nola was drafted out of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with the seventh overall pick in 2014. He spent less than a year in the minor leagues, flying through the Phillies farm system with a combined ERA in the mid two’s.
He made his Major League debut with the Phillies on July 21, 2015 and although he took the loss against the Rays, he was impressive. He allowed only one earned run on five hits, struck out six and walked only one. All told, Nola finished the 2015 season with a 6-2 and a mediocre 3.53 ERA.
Entering 2016, Nola looked to continue to build on his success the season before. However, things rarely go as planned. After an 0-2 start, Nola found a groove, posting an ERA just under 1.70 over his next nine starts. His ERA ballooned to nearly ten over his next eight starts and an elbow strain ended his season on August 3.
Nola’s 2017 didn’t start any better, pitching to an ERA over five starts. The rebound began and Nola was very good the rest of the way, finishing with 12 wins, a 3.54 ERA and 184 strikeouts in 168 innings.
With the signing of Jake Arrieta, many believed Nola would be the number two starter in 2018. Nola quickly became the ace and had his best season to that point. Earning an All-Star spot and third in the NL Cy Young Award voting, Nola went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 224 strikeouts in 212 1/3 innings.
Nola signed a contract extension before the 2019 season that would keep him in the Phillies red and white for the next four seasons. He struggled compared to 2018, but still had 12 wins, against seven losses with an ERA of 3.87, striking out 229 in 202 1/3 innings.
Nola has 53 career wins, a 3.49 ERA and over a strikeout per inning pitched. Nola is just entering the prims of his career and will likely continue to climb the ladder among Phillies greats.