The Phillies went what some are calling the safe route in Thursday night's draft when they selected RHP Aaron Nola out of LSU. He's done it at the college level, winning SEC pitcher of the year honors twice. Analysts believe he could be one of the quickest players to make it to the bigs from the draft. He's been described by the Phillies as having "now stuff."
That's good. Because they could use some help now.
His bread and butter pitch is his fastball, according to scouting director Marti Wolever. He can pitch to both sides of the plate and anaylsts say his command is impeccable.
From the team's official release:
One of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to college baseball’s top player, Nola just completed his junior season at Louisiana State University. The 21-year-old went 11-1 in 16 starts with a 1.47 ERA and 134 strikeouts to only 27 walks in 116.1 total innings. The Tigers went 15-1 this season in his 16 starts.
Nola, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, finished his career at LSU going 30-6 with a 2.09 ERA. He was honored as the Southeastern Conference’s Pitcher of the Year in both 2013 and 2014.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., Nola was originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft, but did not sign. He is the younger brother of Austin Nola, a shortstop in the Miami Marlins farm system.
About a year ago, while in Indianapolis for the combine, the Eagles cut veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
Ryans has finally found his next job ... as a coach.
The 32-year-old former linebacker has been named a defensive quality control coach on Kyle Shanahan's staff in San Francisco. Shanahan was on the Texans' staff for the first four years of Ryans' pro career. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was also on that Houston staff.
After the Eagles cut him last Feb. 24, Ryans was out of the league in 2016 after 10 NFL seasons. He played the first six years of his career in Houston, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler, before joining the Eagles through a trade in 2012.
While the Eagles cut Ryans after the 2015 season to save $3.5 million in cap space, they made a point to go out of their way to praise him on his way out. He was very well thought of in the locker room and throughout the building.
While Ryans played one season under Andy Reid, he quickly became a favorite of Chip Kelly, who frequently called Ryans the "Mufasa" of the Eagles' defense.
Kelly didn't forget about Ryans when he went to San Francisco to coach the 49ers for the 2016 season. In fact, in Kelly's questionnaire in the NFL's 2016 information guide, Kelly listed Ryans as a player who'd make a great head coach.
In the 2016 NFL Info guide, Chip Kelly named DeMeco Ryans as a player who would make a great HC. Now, he's on the next 49ers staff. pic.twitter.com/TGx0cfDr3c