It’s a good time to be a Nats fan: Stephen Strasburg goes down with a back injury, getting called up is a 6’6 behemoth of a power pitcher with unhittable stuff and the clear blue sky as the limit, the legend known as Lucas Giolito. Isn’t it great to replace your 10-0 ace with the top prospect in all of baseball? Don’t forget about Mad Max Scherzer doing his thing, casually striking out 20 in a game and pitching his way into the record books.
Lucas Giolito, according to scouts (who admittedly get overhyped from time to time), has every chance to be as good as Strasburg and Scherzer if not better. Granted, Scherzer was never ranked numero uno on any prospect list and Strasburg, a former top prospect himself, had to go through the ups and downs known as Major League Baseball to have finally found his niche as the co-ace of the Washington Nationals.
Giolito and Strasburg share many similar career paths. Both had Tommy John surgery at a young age (Giolito even earlier than Strasburg at age 18 out of high school), both are regarded as the best pitching prospects in the game at their respective times of minor league dominance, and both pitchers were called up in June to shoulder the workload of Nationals pitchers.
Both had incredible pressure on their shoulders as they start their Major League journeys.
Giolito will no doubt be on some sort of an innings limit, though more lax compared to that of Julio Urias, but the Nationals will no doubt be cautious with him.
Giolito’s scouting report is straight forward. Giolito is a huge guy at 6’6, 255, and has a cannon of an arm. With a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and hits 100, Giolito throws easy, unhittable gas. His curveball is one of the best breaking balls in the entire minor leagues as it mixes velocity and incredible break. The changeup is a work in progress but Giolito should and will be able to get through his first start with two outstanding wipeout pitches. What he should focus on is command of all three of his pitches, especially the changeup, and overall fastball movement. His heater has been straight at times and Major League hitters are always looking for the straight, poorly-located fastball.
He’ll be facing a tough rival, Dark Knight Matt Harvey, who’s had his fair share of problems but can turn it around anytime he wants because he is just that good of a pitcher. All in all, Tuesday night’s matchup at 7:05 eastern time at Citi Field will feature high-90s fastballs and strikeouts. A lot of strikeouts.
Don’t listen to the critics and haters, Lucas. It’s your Major League debut! But for baseball fans all around the world, we cannot wait for his maiden voyage and are excited for the era of Lucas Giolito.