Okay, so the 2014 Phillies are a big, expensive, smelly raspberry. How about the 2015 iteration? Well, that team probably won't be great either. But it's looking ever more likely that next year's club will feature this year's top draft pick, starting pitcher Aaron Nola. The #7 overall selection this past June is moving up to AA Reading after just appearances for Clearwater in the Florida State League. Overall, Nola went 2-3 with a 3.16 ERA; remove a rough professional debut, in which Nola allowed four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, and his high-A ERA tumbles to 2.17 (7 earned runs in 29 innings), with 27 strikeouts and two walks.
On an innings limit after a full spring as LSU's ace, Nola hasn't gone more than five innings in any start since signing with the Phillies. It's expected that he'll make only three or four starts for Reading, then start his offseason with an eye toward winning a spot in the Phillies' wide-open 2015 rotation.
In its midseason prospect rankings released last week, MLB.com ranked Nola the Phillies' #2 prospect (behind shortstop J.P. Crawford) and #48 overall.