In the 2022 Houston Astros draft needs analysis, our staff and fans agreed that the Astros needed to add quality depth to the minor leagues, and of course, quality pitching is always at a premium. 5th-round pick Nolan DeVos adds just that to the system. The 6ft, 185 lb right-handed pitcher played for Davidson and is a North Carolina native. DeVos led the Atlantic-10 conference this spring with a 2.40 ERA and 106 Ks as a starter, the latter of which is something that Astros brass and scouts like to key in on.
I had the opportunity to talk with the 5th-round selection and discuss where he has been and where he hopes to go as he begins his major league career. One thing that really stood out for me was his mental approach. DeVos’ motto or philosophy for pitching is a simple yet determined one, “win every pitch”. Combining that approach with his preferred superpower, if he could pick only one (which is to fly) will hopefully be a foreshadowing of his career soaring to new heights within the Astros organization.
When asked which hat Nolan DeVos was most excited to wear in the Astros system, he mentioned he was looking forward to wearing the Fayetteville Woodpeckers and not just for the cool design, he is also looking forward to having the close proximity to his family so they can attend games as well as he grew up in North Carolina.
Speaking of North Carolina, his favorite memory from playing college ball was coming in with two outs in the eighth to get Davidson out of a jam in his freshman year versus Duke in the AAA Charlotte Knights’ stadium. In fact, he still has the game ball from that night. He then finished out the ninth inning and Davidson walked it off, giving him his first collegiate win.
Changing focus to his time with the Astros, we discussed the process of getting drafted by the Astros. After his college season finished, the Astros’ scouts contacted him and expressed they were very interested. Not knowing exactly what that meant as far as timing and what round they wanted him in, the waiting game for the draft was on. On day two of the draft with friends and family gathered around watching, he was again informed the Astros had him in a good spot. Three picks before the Astros draft pick in round five at 163rd overall, he was informed by the Astros he was their guy. Elated, DeVos and his family gathered around to watch his name be called and light up on the screen as the Astros fifth round draft pick, culminating what he described as “the best day of his life, so far”.
When asked what his favorite pitch was, DeVos said his four seam fastball, which fits perfectly with his philosophy of winning every pitch. He described how he loved to “grip it and rip it”, going after hitters to challenge and win each pitch with his best effort. With all that said, if (hypothetically) he was called up to the Astros right now, he said Mike Trout would be one hitter he would fear facing, due to his power, speed, and experience being such a dominant player for so long. I can respect that; Trout can dominate a game as he most recently did against the Orioles in two of the four nights in the Angels most recent series (at the time of writing).
I ended my conversation with Nolan DeVos talking about what Astros fans can look forward to from his as a player and he offered multiple great insights. First, he noted he is outgoing and loves to talk with people. He also noted his love to compete on the mound and win, and if he’s not playing, he enjoys outwardly cheering his teammates on. He relishes being the energetic and excited guy in the dugout and giving his best each and every day. Finally, his goal for his first season as a minor leaguer was to “learn as much as he can, have fun, and enjoy” the experience. He says he is ready to get to work right away, throwing, working out, and taking in the experience of being a professional baseball player. I look forward to seeing DeVos compete and work hard to be a successful player, and to see how he progresses in his first season as a professional.
Welcome to Houston, Nolan DeVos! Let’s go ‘Stros!