In the write-up on right-handed pitching prospect Lucas Giolito which was published yesterday, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo noted that it looks now like the risk the Washington Nationals took in selecting Giolito 16th overall in 2012 after he'd suffered a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in his final year in high school, "was well worth it."
Giolito was ranked the no.1 right-handed prospect in baseball by MLBPipeline.com's scouts yesterday.
In the scouting report on the now-20-year-old, 6'6'' righty who posted a (10-2) record with a 2.20 ERA, a 3.16 FIP, 28 walks (2.57 BB/9) and 110 Ks (10.10 K/9) in 20 starts and 98 innings pitched at Low-A Hagerstown this season, they write that Giolito, who eventually underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, was back to dominating hitters in his first full season as a pro.
The Nationals' top prospect comes, "[a]rmed with three above-average offerings... [and] does a good job of keeping hitters off balance," according to MLBPipeline.com's scouts.:
"His fastball sits in the mid to upper 90s and has touched 100 mph. He throws his 12-to-6 curveball with a lot of power, and it is nearly as good as his fastball. He has made strides with his changeup, turning it into a true weapon against left-handers."
When the Nationals drafted Giolito, then-Assistant GM Roy Clark described the decision as a "no-brainer" given the right-hander's obvious talent.
"A good comparison might be Roy Halladay when everything's clicking," Clark told reporters. "We'll take that... every year of the draft."
"He's got a power curve and that's probably as good as his fastball," Nats' GM Mike Rizzo said that June.
"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."
Will Giolito start the 2015 campaign at High-A Potomac? He's going to be a guest at their Hot Stove Banquet later this month, read into that what you like.
Now that his first full season as a pro is behind him, MLB.com's scouts write, "... he should start moving faster through the Minor Leagues."
So how long do you think it will be before the top right-handed prospect in baseball is the next big thing in D.C.?