Lucas Giolito was in the running to be the number 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft out of high school so when he dropped to the Nationals with the 16th overall pick the Nationals took full advantage of it and took the 6’6’’ right hander. At the time of being drafted Giolito was only 17 years old and was coming off of an outstanding senior year in high school that saw him go 9-1 with an ERA of 1.00.
Giolito was regarded as the top high school pitching prospect for his 2012 draft class but due to sprained ulnar collateral ligament he dropped to the Nationals with the 16th overall pick. The Nationals took a chance with Giolito even though he would need Tommy John Surgery before he could pitch for the organization but with his young age and high upside the Nationals took the risk and it looks like it could pay off down the road.
Giolito returned to the mound in July of 2013 and started his professional career with the GCL Nationals where he made 8 starts and had a strong ERA of just 2.78 before being promoted to the low single-A level where he played for the Auburn Doubledays. Giolito finished up his first year in professional baseball with the Doubledays as he started three games with an unbelievably low ERA of 0.64.
Lucas Giolito started off the 2014 season with the Hagerstown Suns and has excelled yet again as he has posted a 2-0 record with an ERA of 2.76 in his seven starts. The Nationals are taking very heavy precautions to make sure Giolito doesn’t have any setbacks with the Tommy John Surgery as they have him on an innings pitch limit for the season similar to what they did with current Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
The 16th overall pick projects very well for the future and is a possible number one or number two starter in a major league rotation. Giolito relies heavily on his fastball that sits in the high 90s, and can often touch 100mph. Giolito also has a strong 12-6 curve, that some scouts say is already above MLB average, to go along with a changeup that projects well for the Major League.
With Giolito only being 19 years old do not expect to see him this year however he could be a possible September call-up for the 2015 season. Even though Giolito has not yet pitched a full season of professional baseball it is clear if he can stay healthy he has as much talent and potential as any of the other Nationals top pitchers they have in their star studded rotation.