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School: LSU; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-2; Weight: 170 pounds
Previously Drafted: Toronto Blue Jays, 22nd round, 2011
Background: One of the more decorated pitchers in college baseball, Nola, who’s been named to various First and Second Team All-Americans, the 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year, First and Second Team Freshman All-Americans, and a finalist for National Pitcher of the Year in 2013 among others, has been nothing short of perfect over the last two seasons.
Beginning in 2013 through the end of April 2014, the 6-foot-2 right-hander has allowed just 34 earned runs over 203.1 innings (1.51 ERA) while fanning 217 and walking just 37. For his career, he’s averaged 9.40 K/9 and a miniscule 1.35 BB/9 to go along with a tidy 2.15 ERA.
His older brother, Austin, was drafted in the fifth round in 2012 by the Marlins after an impressive four-year career with LSU as well.
Projection: Love him. Nola isn’t overpowering, per se, but he takes pitchability to the ultimate extreme. Absolute workhorse with the potential to not only move quickly through the minor leagues – he could be the first starting pitcher from this year’s draft class to make it to the big leagues – but has the potential to be a very good #2/#3-type arm.
Above-average to elite control/command. An above-average ability to miss bats in the collegiate ranks, though that will be downgraded to average in the professional levels, somewhere around 7.0- to 7.5- K/9
During his peak years think Tim Hudson-esque.
Ceiling: 4.5- to 5.0-win player
Floor: 2.0- to 2.5-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate to Above-Average
Draft Projection: First Round
Photo Courtesy of HILARY SCHEINUK via theneworleansadvocate.com.