How Lucas Giolito Fits into the Washington Nationals' Future Plans
Giolito, who is a senior at Harvard-Westlake High School in California, has the perfect pitcher's build at 6'6" and 230 pounds. His size contributes to the life on his electric 99 mph fastball.
While his fastball is likely his best pitch, Giolito also possesses a well-above-average curveball and above-average changeup.
Giolito likely would have gone No. 1 overall in the draft had he not sat out all of the 2012 season with a sprained UCL. Even still, he was likely the most polished high school pitcher in the draft.
Keith Law ranked him as the No. 9 overall prospect in the draft, so it was a steal for the Nationals to select him seven picks later.
Giolito has legitimate top-of-the-rotation stuff and potential. As such, we could likely see him taking a similar track to the majors as future rotationmate Stephen Strasburg took.
Even though Giolito wouldn't be attending college like Strasburg did, it's likely that he could make it to the bigs within two seasons or so.
When he makes it to the majors, at whatever time that may be, Giolito will be asked to play a huge role on the team.
Assuming the rotation stays in tact, we could see Giolito slot behind Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Strasburg as the No. 4 starter in the rotation.
The Nationals, who will probably be looking for ways to continue to make it to the postseason, will be lucky to have Giolito in the back of their rotation. His ace-type stuff will fit nicely there in his rookie season. With several high-profile names in front of him, he'll be able to focus and pitch his own game without worrying about being in the spotlight.
As the No. 4 starter in his rookie season, Giolito could potentially use that season to show the Nationals that he belongs toward the front. This could either make Zimmermann expendable or allow for the Nationals to let him walk via free agency (he's a free agent following the 2016 season).
Strasburg will likely be the ace for a long time, and I can even see a situation where he and Gonzalez share the title of co-aces for the better part of the next decade.
If Giolito performs as well as the scouts say he will, then the Nationals could potentially have co-co-aces. That would make their rotation absolutely lethal and would help to propel the team to NL East favorites every season.
Regardless of when we see Giolito, there's no doubting that his future is bright and that he will most certainly have a spot in the Nationals' rotation when he's ready.
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