Less than three weeks after selecting Aaron Nola with the seventh pick in the MLB draft, the Philadelphia Phillies will thrust the former LSU ace into his professional debut.
Nola will start Monday night at 5:30 for the Clearwater Threshers, the Phillies’ High-A affiliate in Florida, against the Lakeland Flying Tigers in Lakeland, Florida.
Clearwater is 20-52 this season. Nola will pitch against Venezuelan Yorfrank Lopez (71.0 IP, 4.56 ERA). Former LSU reliever Nate Fury, drafted in the 36th round by the Detroit Tigers, plays for Lakeland. Tyler Hanover, the ex-LSU infielder, also plays for the Flying Tigers.
Nola signed a contract with the Phillies that included a bonus of nearly $3.3 million. He’s expected to be the first pitcher from this year’s draft to make the move to the major leagues.
Nola will make his home debut Saturday and will don No. 49, according to a message posted on the Threshers’ Twitter account.
.@AaronNola10 will wear # 49, probable starter tonight in Lakeland. Bright House Field debut tentative for Saturday, June 28.
— Threshers Baseball (@Threshers) June 23, 2014
Four more LSU players were drafted in the June draft and have started their professional careers:
- Joe Broussard, Ogden Raptors (Rookie): LSU’s 2014 hard-throwing closer, Broussard made his pro debut on Sunday and got the win. The first reliever out of the bullpen, he threw 2.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing one hit and striking out three.
- Nate Fury, Lakeland Flying Tigers (Advanced A): Fury made his debut Friday, throwing one inning, allowing two hits and one run.
- Tyler Moore, Brooklyn Cyclones (A – Short Season): Moore had played in nine games, at DH and catcher, and has a .231 average.
- Sean McMullen, Greenville Astros (rookie): McMullen has played in four games and is batting .412, third on the team, and he’s driven in two runs.