Here's how Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals' front office described pitcher Lucas Giolito on the night of the 2014 Draft, after Washington took the prep school right-hander with the 16th pick that June, in spite of the fact that he had suffered a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow during his senior year.
"He's got a power curve and that's probably as good as his fastball," Rizzo told reporters.
"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."
"Up to 98[mph] with a plus breaking ball and real good change up," now-former Assistant GM Roy Clark added, "... a top-of-the-rotation guy that you can get at 16."
One Tommy John surgery and fifty-one minor league starts later, here's how MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo described Giolito yesterday in ranking the righty as the pitching prospect with the "best combo of tools":
"Any time you start with an 80 fastball -- the only 80 heater on the Top 100 -- you're off to a good start. But Giolito also has a 70 curve, the only breaking ball given a grade better than 65. Those two pitches alone make him a very intriguing prospect, but he's more than just a two-weapon starter. Giolito gets 55s for both his changeup and his control, and it's not unreasonable to say that both could be 60s when all is said and done. There's a reason he has an overall 70 grade and has a ceiling of a future ace -- not a label to throw around lightly."
Everybody loves Lucas. For those of you who are visual learners, here's the breakdown MLB.com's Prospect Pipleline scouts posted on the Twitter yesterday: