Q&A with Jays 31st Round Pick Austin Nola

We sat down with Blue Jays' 31st round pick, Austin Nola, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the shortstop from Louisiana State University says about his game, his thoughts about starting his professional career now, who he'd compare his game to at the big league level, and more!

FutureJays.com: Austin, what was it like when you found out you had been drafted, and by the same team that drafted your younger brother?

Austin Nola: It's my dream to play in the major leagues and to have the opportunity is a huge honor. I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

FutureJays.com: Had you spoken to the Jays before the draft? Were you surprised to be picked by them and at that point in the draft?

Nola: I hadn't heard from them until [draft] morning. The scout initially called me and said congratulations and to be selected in the Major League Draft is a huge honor.

FutureJays.com: Your younger brother (Aaron) was also drafted by the Jays this year. How big of a surprise was it to be taken by the same team and what did you say to each other?

Nola: It was a very big surprise. I wasn't expecting it one bit, you know. It's exciting to have your brother drafted by the same team. It gives you something to look forward to in the future.

FutureJays.com: The Jays drafted you as a shortstop. Have they talked to you about a position change and where do you feel most comfortable on the field?

Nola: I haven't talked to them about a position change or anything. I feel most comfortable at shortstop, I've played there my whole life. I just hope I get the chance to play there, and hopefully we'll see what their organization has in store.

FutureJays.com: What's the strongest area of your game as well as an area you want to improve upon the most?

Nola: I'd definitely like to improve on being a little more consistent at the plate and just have a little more consistency. Keep the mindset the same throughout each situation, even when the score dictates differently. So the mental part of the game and being more consistent.

FutureJays.com: Is there a player in the major's right now you would draw a comparison to as far as the style of your game?

Nola: I like Alex Gonzalez. I think I can model my game after him. He's a really good shortstop and he plays the game the right way. Defensively, he's as good as it gets. So I like to look at him and what he does and model myself after him.

FutureJays.com: What would you say the best moment of your baseball career has been so far?

Nola: That would be winning the National Championship in college my first year. That so far in my life has been the pinnacle, what you dream of, especially playing for my home town team LSU. You always dream of winning a National Championship and to do it with the team you grew up around is just awesome.

FutureJays.com: Growing up in Louisiana, what was your favorite team and did you have a favorite player?

Nola: I don't' really have much of a favorite team. Derek Jeter was always my favorite [player]. I always like watching him play.

FutureJays.com: You're a junior in college right now. What is your mindset now that you've been drafted? Is returning to school a priority or are you eager to start a professional career?

Nola: I'm going to take a bit of time and talk to the Jays organization and see what their plans are and make a decision from there. Right now I really don't know what is going to happen. There's many options open.

FutureJays.com: Being a hometown guy, returning to LSU for your senior year is probably pretty appealing.

Nola: It is appealing. I get my degree next year and that's a positive. With LSU right down the road from me, that's been a big big thing my whole life. We'll see what the Blue Jays have to say, I really have a lot of respect for that organization so we'll see what happens.

FutureJays.com: Are you familiar at all with their organization?

Nola: Some of the guys when I was a freshman at LSU went to the Blue Jays, Sean Ochinko and Ryan Schimpf (both at Dunedin). So that's definitely appealing to hear from guys that are in the organization and get that feedback from them. I've heard good things from them.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nFutureJays.com: Austin, what was it like when you found out you had been drafted, and by the same team that drafted your younger brother?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Nola: It's my dream to play in the major leagues and to have the opportunity is a huge honor. I'm looking forward to what the future holds.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Had you spoken to the Jays before the draft? Were you surprised to be picked by them and at that point in the draft?
\r\n
\r\nNola: I hadn't heard from them until [draft] morning. The scout initially called me and said congratulations and to be selected in the Major League Draft is a huge honor.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Your younger brother (Aaron) was also drafted by the Jays this year. How big of a surprise was it to be taken by the same team and what did you say to each other?
\r\n
\r\nNola: It was a very big surprise. I wasn't expecting it one bit, you know. It's exciting to have your brother drafted by the same team. It gives you something to look forward to in the future.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: The Jays drafted you as a shortstop. Have they talked to you about a position change and where do you feel most comfortable on the field?
\r\n
\r\nNola: I haven't talked to them about a position change or anything. I feel most comfortable at shortstop, I've played there my whole life. I just hope I get the chance to play there, and hopefully we'll see what their organization has in store.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: What's the strongest area of your game as well as an area you want to improve upon the most?
\r\n
\r\nNola: I'd definitely like to improve on being a little more consistent at the plate and just have a little more consistency. Keep the mindset the same throughout each situation, even when the score dictates differently. So the mental part of the game and being more consistent.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Is there a player in the major's right now you would draw a comparison to as far as the style of your game?
\r\n
\r\nNola: I like Alex Gonzalez. I think I can model my game after him. He's a really good shortstop and he plays the game the right way. Defensively, he's as good as it gets. So I like to look at him and what he does and model myself after him.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: What would you say the best moment of your baseball career has been so far?
\r\n
\r\nNola: That would be winning the National Championship in college my first year. That so far in my life has been the pinnacle, what you dream of, especially playing for my home town team LSU. You always dream of winning a National Championship and to do it with the team you grew up around is just awesome.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Growing up in Louisiana, what was your favorite team and did you have a favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nNola: I don't' really have much of a favorite team. Derek Jeter was always my favorite [player]. I always like watching him play.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: You're a junior in college right now. What is your mindset now that you've been drafted? Is returning to school a priority or are you eager to start a professional career?
\r\n
\r\nNola: I'm going to take a bit of time and talk to the Jays organization and see what their plans are and make a decision from there. Right now I really don't know what is going to happen. There's many options open.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Being a hometown guy, returning to LSU for your senior year is probably pretty appealing.
\r\n
\r\nNola: It is appealing. I get my degree next year and that's a positive. With LSU right down the road from me, that's been a big big thing my whole life. We'll see what the Blue Jays have to say, I really have a lot of respect for that organization so we'll see what happens.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Are you familiar at all with their organization?
\r\n
\r\nNola: Some of the guys when I was a freshman at LSU went to the Blue Jays, Sean Ochinko and Ryan Schimpf (both at Dunedin). So that's definitely appealing to hear from guys that are in the organization and get that feedback from them. I've heard good things from them.
\r\n
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