Aside from Aaron Nola's girlfriend and his family members also in attendance in the press conference room at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, no one had seen the former LSU pitcher and recent Phillies first-round pick more than the other young pitcher in the room.
Chris Oliver, who the Phillies chose with their fourth round pick on Friday, pitched at Arkansas. He saw quite a bit of Nola during collegiate play in the SEC conference.
"He's a stud," Oliver said. "I don't know if we ever beat him."
From Oliver's mouth to the ears of the Phillies front office.
Just five days after the Phillies used the seventh overall pick on him, Aaron Nola signed his first professional contract with the team on Tuesday. He was outfitted in a pinstriped jersey and hat during an introductory press conference later in the afternoon.
"This is an amazing experience for me," Nola said. "First time in Philadelphia and the first time I’m putting a major league uniform on. I’m just ready to start my journey."
Nola will fly to Clearwater on Wednesday to get acclimated with the Phillies program at their spring training facilities. After that?
"It’s likely he’ll start in (Class A) Clearwater for the Threshers," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He may start higher than that. But we’re probably going to ease him into it. We’re in the process of making sure we understand his workload."
After his LSU team was bounced from the regionals, Nola said he ended up throwing fewer innings this year than he did last year. After putting on the uniform for the first time, Nola was eager to get back on the mound, too.
"I didn’t want to wait around too long," Nola said of signing quickly. "I think it’s a good decision for myself, my family made the decision with me and they support it. I think it’ll be good for me to get out there as quick as I can."