Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito
25-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago White Sox
2019 Fantasy Outlook
It is easy to forget that Giolito was once the 16th overall pick of the 2012 draft, and that was only because he was injured in high school and everyone knew he needed Tommy John surgery. He went on to be considered the top pitching prospect in baseball from 2015-16, but Giolito's pitches have really backed up in recent years. He also has an inconsistent grasp of where those pitches are going (to put it nicely). His 6.13 ERA was by far the worst in the majors for all qualified starters and his 11.6% walk rate also brought up the rear. Fifteen of his 32 starts were of the quality variety, but his bad outings were extreme as he gave up five or more earned runs in 10 outings. Only Mike Leake had a lower strikeout percentage among qualified pitchers. It is important to be aware of a player's pedigree, and while Giolito has it in spades, his stuff and command are simply not befitting of a player we should expect significant improvement from. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $535,000 contract with the White Sox in February of 2017.
Strikes out five in loss
PChicago White Sox
July 15, 2019
Giolito (11-4) gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five through six innings to take the loss against the Royals on Monday.
ANALYSIS
Giolito gathered 10 swinging strikes as he delivered a quality start in the hard-luck loss. The 25-year-old had dominated the Royals in his career, posting a 6-0 record with a 2.13 ERA coming into this contest. Even with the loss, this was a nice bounce-back outing for Giolito after giving up six runs in his previous start against the Cubs. Giolito has an 11-4 record with a 3.23 ERA, a 10.6 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9 through 18 starts this season. Giolito will make his next start Saturday against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-3%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-28%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-16%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .230 685 133 68 139 32 2 23
Since 2017vs Right .222 694 151 73 134 32 4 21
2019vs Left .166 198 60 15 30 9 0 5
2019vs Right .231 227 65 24 46 11 0 4
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
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-25%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-19%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-37%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-17%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 5.38 1.31 152.1 11 11 0 8.6 4.1 1.3
Since 2017Away 4.02 1.24 172.1 13 9 0 7.3 3.7 1.1
2019Home 3.61 1.10 47.1 5 2 0 10.3 3.6 0.8
2019Away 2.91 1.07 58.2 6 2 0 10.9 3.1 0.8
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
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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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 70 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
3.21
 
K/9
10.6
 
BB/9
3.3
 
HR/9
0.8
 
Fastball
94.1 mph
 
ERA
3.23
 
WHIP
1.08
 
BABIP
.278
 
GB/FB
1.12
 
Left On Base
73.2%
 
Exit Velocity
87.9 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
6.6%
 
Spin Rate
2082 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
33.5%
 
Swinging Strike
14.7%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
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.
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
Struggles versus Cubs
PChicago White Sox
July 6, 2019
Giolito (11-3) was dealt the loss Saturday against the Cubs after surrendering six runs on four hits and five walks across four innings. He had five strikeouts.
ANALYSIS
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Snags 11th win
PChicago White Sox
June 30, 2019
Giolito (11-2) secured the victory after allowing one hit and striking out four over five scoreless innings against the Twins on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Walks four in no-decision
PChicago White Sox
June 24, 2019
Giolito yielded three runs on six hits and four walks across 5.2 innings Monday, striking out seven and taking a no-decision in the loss to Boston.
ANALYSIS
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Surrenders six earned
PChicago White Sox
June 19, 2019
Giolito (10-2) allowed six earned runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out nine across 4.1 innings to take the loss Wednesday against the Cubs.
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Cruises to ninth straight win
PChicago White Sox
June 15, 2019
Giolito (10-1) struck out six and picked up the win Friday in a 10-2 victory over the Yankees, allowing one run on four hits and four walks over six innings.
ANALYSIS
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