Lucas Giolito, #21 on 2014 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects List

The lovefest for the Nationals’ top pick in 2012 continues as Lucas Giolito was named as the No. 21 prospect on Baseball America’s 2014 Top 100 Prospects List.

As you might have already guessed, Giolito was the sole National to make the list. Last year, it was three as Anthony Rendon (30), Giolito (67), and Brian Goodwin (70). In 2012, Bryce Harper topped the list for the second time with Rendon coming in at No. 19.

The 19-year-old Californian returned to action last summer after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2012, struggling with his command early on, getting lifted twice in the first inning in his first four starts. After bottoming out with a four-run outing to the GCL Mets in his fifth appearance, resulting in a loss, Giolito got his bearings and strung together three solid starts to earn a bump up to the New York-Penn League in mid-August.

Giolito went 1-0 with 14K in 14IP in three starts for the Auburn Doubledays, giving up his only HR of the season in his last start against the Batavia Muckdogs. BA broke from its previous pattern of double-dipping and only named him to one (1) of its postseason league Top 20 lists, the Gulf Coast League’s No. 2 prospect.

MASN’s Byron Kerr has reported that Giolito will begin 2014 in Low-A Hagerstown, insisting in the comments that he’ll be there for Opening Day. History strongly suggests otherwise as previous HS pitchers (A.J. Cole, Robbie Ray) were held back until May, though there is the counter example of Taylor Jordan, who underwent TJ in July 2011, came back to action with Auburn and Hagerstown in the June 2012, and was sent to Potomac in April 2013.(Can we both be wrong and have him debut in Woodbridge in mid-May? 😉

Giolito features a 80-grade fastball that can hit triple digits from a high arm angle created in part by his 6’6″ frame, though scouts noted he tended to work best when it was around 95 to 97 mph. He also boasts a 12-6 curve (clocked in the 84-86 range) that could reach the 80 mark, but alas his changeup only figures to reach 70 mark, making it merely plus, not plus-plus (for the velo whores, it comes in around 82-83).

With less than 39 innings total as a pro, the folks at BA believe this season will be a matter of demonstrating he can handle the workload of full-season ball and peg his MLB debut at possibly late 2015 but more likely in 2016.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

8 thoughts on “Lucas Giolito, #21 on 2014 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects List”

  1. Interesting; every other prospect list out there has Cole and Goodwin at least in their top 100. Hulet, Crawford, Law, Parks and Callis/Mayo (who even had Robbie Ray in top 100). Why is BA so low on our guys?

    1. Not only was Cole ranked, but he was ranked quite solidly within the top 100 by everyone else.

      BP: 69
      Fangraphs: 47 44

      I understand the cooling on Goodwin. His development really stalled this season. He’s a fringe top 100 sort of guy. But oddly BA didn’t rank Cole last year either. I think this year it must be an oversight on their part, having left him off last year. You don’t often have that large of a disparity between rankings unless the guy is super raw or out with a long term injury (where a matter of ranking preference comes into play).

      1. “But oddly BA didn’t rank Cole last year either.” — coming off a season (2012) in which he was dropped down from High-A after going 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in eight starts; that’s hardly a surprise. Rebounding last year to pitch well at A+ and AA at the age of 21 ought to have at least got him somewhere on the list.

  2. Giolito’s gonna be plugged in as an inexpensive replacement for either Strasburg or Zimmermann when we can’t afford them after the present window expires in my opinion. His stuff sounds electric, and I hope I get to see him up close and personal in Hagerstown this year.

  3. Parks projected Giolito as 80 FB, 80 CB, and 70 CH on Twitter. Also said he’s hearing good reports on Jefry Rodriguez and Drew Ward. His Nats top ten comes out tomorrow.

  4. So totally agree Souldrummer!
    The financial window is just a few years longer
    Than what it was north of the Border
    Time will tell how the Latin pipeline pitches
    Into the mix
    Would be nice to get cable / satellite package
    Free of Peter Angelos !!

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