With just one professional start and a strong high school career that had him considered one of the top prep school arms available in the 2011 Draft on his resume, Lucas Giolito, who turned 19 this past Sunday, was ranked the top pitcher in the Washington Nationals' organization by Baseball America this past winter. And that was after the right-hander had Tommy John surgery to take care of the injury he suffered in his final year at Harvard-Westlake HS in California.
The Nats drafted the 6'6'', 230 lb starter knowing surgery was a possibility, because they thought the young pitcher was talented and young enough to come back from the injury even if he was forced to undergo the procedure to repair the damage to his right elbow.
"He's got a power curve and that's probably as good as his fastball," Washington's GM Mike Rizzo told reporters after the Nationals took Giolito with the 16th pick of the 2011 Draft. "He's got a power 12-6 curve that's anywhere from 82-to-85-86 mph at times and he's got a feel to pitch. He's not a thrower. He's got a touch and comes at you with that 6'6'' frame, he comes at you downhill and he's coming hard."
The Gulf Coast League is getting a look at what Giolito can do now that's he's back on the mound and pitching with the Nationals' Rookie level minor league affiliate. This past Monday, the right-handed pitcher made his third start of 2013, walking one batter and surrendering three hits in 3.0 scoreless innings against the Gulf Coast Cardinals. On the year, Giolito now has a 1.69 ERA, 2.26 FIP, a .238 BAA, three walks (5.06 BB/9) and seven Ks (11.81 K/9) in 5.1 IP.
In a recent interview on 106.7 the FAN in D.C., the Nationals' general manager told hosts Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier that the team was, "... going to take a cautious route to get him back," and, "try to get him some innings under his belt to kind of prep him for next year to go to a higher full season league and get his 140-150 innings in next year."
MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr wrote this morning that he thought it wouldn't, "... be long before Giolito makes his way to low Single-A Hagerstown as the Nationals continue to ramp up his innings and pitch counts." Giolito might make another stop on the way to the Nats' South Atlantic League affiliate. Auburn Citizen writer Jeremy Houghtaling, who covers the Nats' NY/Penn League affiliate, the Auburn Doubledays, noted on Twitter on Monday that Nationals' pitching coordinator Skip Williams said Giolito might get some innings in with the Doubledays:
Spin Williams, minor pitch coordinator for the Nationals, said he is going to watch Giolito in Florida in the first week of August.— Jeremy Houghtaling (@CitizenHough) July 15, 2013
Williams said Giolito may come to Auburn to join the #Ddays after that.— Jeremy Houghtaling (@CitizenHough) July 15, 2013
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