Lucas Giolito

RHP Lucas Giolito (via MiLB.com)

RHP Lucas Giolito (via MiLB.com)

Position: RHP
Born: 7/14/1994
Ht: 6'6'' Wt: 255
Acquired: Received from Washington in Adam Eaton deal, 12/7/2016
Career Stats

FutureSox Prospect Rankings

  • #2 - 2017 Preseason

FutureSox Media

Accolades

  • #67 Prospect in MLB, 2012 Postseason (Baseball America)
  • #74 Prospect in MLB, 2012 Postseason (MLB Pipeline)
  • Best Fastball in WAS system, 2012 (Baseball America)
  • Best Curveball in WAS system, 2012 (Baseball America)
  • #21 Prospect in MLB, 2013 Postseason (Baseball America)
  • #44 Prospect in MLB, 2013 Postseason (MLB Pipeline)
  • 2014 MiLB.com Organizational All-Star
  • 2014 Futures Game participant
  • #1 Prospect in South Atlantic League, 2014 (Baseball America)
  • Best Breaking Pitch in South Atlantic League, 2014 (Baseball America)
  • #7 Prospect in MLB, 2014 Postseason (Baseball America)
  • #6 Prospect in MLB, 2014 Postseason (MLB Pipeline)
  • 2015 MiLB.com Organizational All-Star
  • 2015 Futures Game participant
  • #5 Prospect in MLB, 2016 Preseason (Baseball America)
  • #3 Prospect in MLB, 2016 Preseason (MLB Pipeline)
  • #25 Prospect in MLB, Preseason 2017 (Baseball America)
  • #12 Prospect in MLB, Preseason 2017 (MLB Pipeline)
  • #10 Prospect in MLB, Preseason 2017 (Baseball Prospectus)
  • #31 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2017 (Baseball America)
  • #75 Prospect in MLB, Midseason 2017 (Baseball Prospectus)
  • #13 Prospect in the International League, 2017 post-season (Baseball America)

Scouting Report

Entering his senior year of high school, Lucas Giolito was the overwhelming favorite to become the first prep right-hander to be selected first overall. That all came crashing down when in an early March start, he felt discomfort in his elbow that forced him out of the game. An MRI revealed damage in Giolito's ulnar collateral ligament. That ended his season and his chances of going #1 overall. As the draft approached and it became apparent that Giolito would need Tommy John surgery, teams begin to balk at the prospect of investing a high first round pick in damaged goods. On draft day Giolito fell all the way to the Nationals with the 16th pick and two and half months later he was under the knife. Ten months later, Giolito was back and pitching effectively, posting a 1.96 ERA over 36.2 innings. The Nationals took things very conservatively after that, limiting Giolito to 98 dominant innings and spending the full 2014 season in Class A Hagerstown. Giolito breezed through A+ and finished the 2015 season with AA, combining between the two affiliates to post a 3.15 ERA with 131 strikeouts over 117 innings. In 2016, Giolito spent the majority of the year in AA, but then saw seven AAA starts and finally he appeared in six games (four starts) with the big league club. Giolito finished his ascension through the minor leagues with a 2.73 ERA, and a 9.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 rate.

In 2017, the White Sox stated openly that they wanted to get Lucas back to his previous mechanics, and that it would take time for him to adjust. Sure enough, he opened the year with a month and a half of very rough starts, not just statistically but including a big drop in velocity and a serious lack of fastball command. As the year has gone on he's been getting better, in fits and starts.

Giolito is a physical specimen right out of a pitching coach's dream at 6'6'' and 255 pounds. Considered to be an excellent athlete, Giolito's delivery is easy and repeatable, though as noted earlier he's changed it somewhat. He utilizes his strong lower half combined with his size to create a strong downward plane. This is especially evident on his fastball, which now sits around 92-95. That's a little lower than before and with a little less movement, so previous 60-70 grades might now be reaches. Giolito also has been featuring a two-seam fastball, giving hitters another look in addition to the four-seamer. While most pitchers work around a plus fastball, Giolito features a true plus curveball that flashes plus plus with incredible depth at it's velocity of 82-86 MPH. It is an old school 12-6 hammer curve which he can bury in the dirt or throw for strikes. Giolito's second breaking ball is a developing mid-80's change-up that falls between a 45 to 55 on the scouting 20-80 scale. He supposedly has been working heavily on his change-up over the past couple seasons and uses it effectively against left-handers, resulting in reverse splits as a right-handed hurler.

While Giolito has his question marks at this stage in his career, the White Sox have earned the benefit of the doubt on pitcher development. With Giolito's exceptional size, velocity, stuff, and plenty of athleticism, he checks all the boxes. But he's not quite ready for the big leagues again, yet.

Major League Outlook: Mid-rotation starter
ETA: Debuted 2016, likely return late 2017 or 2018

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