The 2016-17 offseason didn’t see a lot of movement by the Washington Nationals despite failing to advance past the NLDS once again, but the one blockbuster move they made was shipping top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito alongside fellow arms Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning to the Chicago White Sox for veteran center fielder Adam Eaton.
The move was universally panned all winter, but Eaton made a case for the Nats once the season began by racing out to a .854 OPS with seven doubles and 24 runs scored in his first 23 games before going down with a season-ending knee and lower leg injury.
While only time will tell if Eaton will be able to fully recover from the surgery he was forced to undergo, the White Sox have three prized pitching prospects developing in their system.
Lucas Giolito, was once ranked the No. 3 prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus, has had a shaky 2017 campaign after posting a 5.44 ERA in nine starts for AAA-Charlotte
He would have everything working Thursday, however, going the distance in the first game of a double header with Washington’s AAA club, the Syracuse Chiefs.
Giolito gave up three walks, struck out three and induced eight ground ball outs, finishing the contest with 87 pitches — 50 of them strikes.
The Chiefs’ lineup featured two of the Nats’ top prospects in catcher Pedro Severino and center fielder Andrew Stevenson as well as former Nationals pinch hitter Clint Robinson.
After picking up just his second win of the season, Giolito still has plenty of work to do before he makes it back to the majors.
He’ll take the moral victory for now, but the “winner” of this trade is far from being determined.