Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito
24-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago White Sox
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The former top prospect posted sparkling numbers in seven starts for the White Sox, bouncing back from a miserable debut with the Nationals, but was it real or an illusion? By most measures, it was the latter; Giolito did miss more bats, but still had a modest 19 percent strikeout rate, and home runs were once again a problem (eight allowed in 45.1 innings). The right-hander showed improvement with his control (2.4 BB/9), but the ERA estimators suggest Giolito was closer to a 4.50 ERA pitcher, with luck playing a significant role in his surface stats (92 percent strand rate, .189 BABIP). Giolito saw another dip in fastball velocity -- his average settled at just over 92 mph -- and his larger body of work at Triple-A left a lot to be desired. His 10.1 percent swinging-strike rate and 62 percent first-pitch strike rate hint at room for strikeout growth, but the team context works against him, and there will likely be more bumps in the road. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $535,000 contract with the White Sox in February of 2017.
Chased early in loss
PChicago White Sox
September 28, 2018
Giolito (10-13) took the loss in the second game of a doubleheader against the Twins on Friday, allowing seven earned runs on five hits and four walks while striking out two over 1.1 innings.
Giolito couldn't prevent the damage once again, as he's now allowed at least four earned runs in four of his last five starts. Friday's loss was his final appearance of the season, and Giolito owns a disappointing stat line with a 6.13 ERA (5.47 xFIP) and a 125:90 K:BB over 173.1 innings.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .260 541 80 60 122 25 2 21
Since 2016vs Right .227 514 90 54 101 23 5 21
2018vs Left .271 402 58 49 93 22 2 13
2018vs Right .227 373 67 41 73 18 2 14
2017vs Left .200 85 15 4 16 1 0 5
2017vs Right .181 94 19 8 15 3 2 3
2016vs Left .277 54 7 7 13 2 0 3
2016vs Right .317 47 4 5 13 2 1 4
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 6.16 1.43 122.2 6 10 0 7.2 4.3 1.7
Since 2016Away 4.76 1.38 117.1 7 7 0 5.5 4.2 1.5
2018Home 7.80 1.65 72.2 3 7 0 7.8 5.3 1.5
2018Away 4.92 1.35 100.2 7 6 0 5.5 4.2 1.3
2017Home 2.51 0.87 32.1 3 2 0 7.8 2.2 1.7
2017Away 2.08 1.15 13.0 0 1 0 4.2 2.8 1.4
2016Home 6.11 1.53 17.2 0 1 0 3.6 4.1 2.5
2016Away 9.82 3.00 3.2 0 0 0 9.8 9.8 4.9
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Stat Review
How does Lucas Giolito compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
92.4 mph
Strand %
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Giolito began the year in Double-A and ended it in the majors, but it wasn't exactly a completely successful season for the phenom. He put up strong, but not truly dominant, numbers in the high minors but struggled with his command and control with Washington, resulting in walk and home run rates out of character for Giolito compared to his minor league work. End-of-season fatigue may have been a factor, as his fastball was averaging 93.4 mph in the majors instead of popping the high 90s, but his workload only increased marginally from 2015, so whispers about his health inevitably followed (he's had Tommy John once already). At his best, the right-hander still features that explosive fastball, plus a hammer curve and changeup that could soon surpass the curve as an out pitch, and an offseason of rest might be all he needs to regain his top-shelf stuff and seize hold of a spot in the White Sox's rotation. It's also possible that despite his scouting reports, he takes a while to adjust to the majors -- his numbers last year bear some similarities to Kevin Gausman's the season he broke into the majors as a 22-year-old.
This could be the year when Giolito goes from highly-touted prospect to mainstream ace. Three years removed from Tommy John surgery, the Nationals will set him loose on big league hitters when a need in the rotation arises. He cruised through High-A and Double-A in his age 20/21 season, but the numbers do not do him justice. He had a 1.96 FIP in 69.2 innings at High-A and a 3.18 FIP in 47.1 innings at Double-A. His combination of a plus-plus fastball and a borderline 80-grade curveball is something few pitchers on the planet can boast. He also has the potential for a plus changeup in two or three years, with above average command to boot. In short, this is a future ace. His body is built to log innings and his arsenal is built to embarrass big league hitters, the latter of which should begin sometime this summer.
Now two years removed from his Tommy John surgery, Giolito looked every inch the future ace as he tore through the South Atlantic League, posting outstanding 10.1 K/9 and 3.9 K/BB ratios over a restricted workload of 98 innings. The tall, young right-hander already possesses a high-90s fastball and power curve that will overmatch just about anybody he faces in A-ball, so the Nationals are focused on building up his stamina and having him develop his changeup into a quality offering, something which could be the difference between Giolito being merely good in the majors or being one of the best in the game. The club has no reason to rush him given their loaded major league rotation, so Giolito could easily spend two more seasons or more in the minors before getting the call, but at the moment, all signs point to dynasty owners being amply rewarded down the road for their patience.
The Nationals' 2012 first-round pick made an impressive return from Tommy John surgery, albeit in very limited work, and struck out 39 batters in 36.2 innings between rookie ball and Low-A while flashing the same high octane fastball, power curve and developing changeup that made him a much-ballyhooed high schooler prior to his surgery. The Nats are notoriously conservative with recovering pitchers so expect Giolito to be on a strict innings cap this season, but even in limited work he's more than capable of emerging as one of the game's elite pitching prospects. A violent delivery and spindly frame, the usual recipe for control and injury issues, might be the only thing keeping him from tearing into the majors as soon as 2015.
The 16th overall pick in the draft went under the knife for the least surprising Tommy John surgery ever in August, and the Nationals do not expect to get anything for their $3 million signing bonus until 2014. Giolito could be worth the wait though. Were it not for his elbow trouble he very well might have gone first overall, as high schoolers with prototypical power pitcher builds and fastballs that light up the third digit on the radar gun tend to get scouts drooling. It will be a long road back for Giolito, but if any team can get the most out of him it would be the Nats (see: Strasburg, Stephen and Zimmermann, Jordan).
More Fantasy News
Loses to Cubs
PChicago White Sox
September 23, 2018
Giolito (10-12) allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out five over 6.2 innings, taking the loss to the Cubs on Saturday.
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Tabbed with loss vs. O's
PChicago White Sox
September 16, 2018
Giolito (10-11) allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks while striking out one through six innings, taking the loss Sunday against the Orioles.
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Rebounds from poor start
PChicago White Sox
September 11, 2018
Giolito allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three in a no-decision Monday against the Royals.
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Goes just 1.1 innings in loss
PChicago White Sox
September 4, 2018
Giolito (10-10) gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits in 1.1 innings against the Tigers on Tuesday, striking out three and walking two while taking the loss.
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Turns in strong effort
PChicago White Sox
August 30, 2018
Giolito allowed an earned run on two hits and two walks while striking out eight across 6.1 innings Thursday against the Red Sox. He did not factor into the decision.
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