Nola among top SEC tourney performers

LSU right-hander Aaron Nola was strong against Arkansas on Thursday night. John Korduner/Icon SMI

The SEC tournament started on Tuesday this week with a day of play-in games to accommodate the conference's expansion, putting 12 teams in Hoover, Alabama, to start the event, with only eight surviving to the second day. I arrived Wednesday morning and took in seven games over the two days, focusing on the top 2014 draft prospects in the event, led by a couple of pitchers with first-round aspirations.

• LSU right-hander Aaron Nola threw in the third game Thursday against Arkansas in front of a ton of heat, with at least four general managers in the house and several other top execs. The Marlins, White Sox, Cubs and Twins were all very well-represented behind the plate. Nola didn't have much to prove, but he only helped himself with a strong outing that ended early just because the plate umpire decided to shrink the strike zone in the eighth inning of a non-elimination game.