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Monday, February 22, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PROSPECT WATCH: LUCAS GIOLITO SP WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Each and every season, there is a consensus number 1 prospect to watch that has the attention of the entire fantasy baseball community.  Think Stephen Strasburg or Kris Bryant over the last few seasons for an idea of guys who carried ridiculous talent and who were drafted with high ADPs before they even made their debuts.  While the subject of today's Prospect Watch may be a shade or two below those guys in terms of hype, there is no denying the fact that top Washington Nationals starting pitching prospect Lucas Giolito is right there as one of the top farmhands in the game.  So as always let's take a closer look at where Giolito is at as a player and figure out his timeline for 2016 fantasy baseball arrival. 

As far as Giolito's history is concerned, he was the Nats' first round pick in the 2012 Draft at number 16 overall and it was only last season where the gifted righty was promoted to Double-A.  Prior to his move to Double-A, Giolito dominated at Single-A by pitching to a 2.71 ERA and registering a K/9 rate of 11.11.  Better yet, Giolito also showed good control and an insanely good home run rate which are all indicators for being a future front-of-the-rotation arm.  While Giolito was a bit more hittable at Double-A last season in his 47 inning trial run there (3.80 ERA and 8.56 K/9), his high 90's fastball and excellent control portend to some big things ahead.  Better yet, Giolito has shown no ill effects from the Tommy John surgery that he had in his past. 

In looking ahead to the 2016 season, at present time Giolito doesn't have a spot in the Washington rotation.  The Nats' five currently included Max Scherzer, Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, and Joe Ross but Giolito could be a factor whenever an injury strikes any of those five.  Since an injury is almost a guarantee to afflict someone, Giolito figures to be up at some point midway through the 2016 season and could even replace Roark if he struggles.  While we wouldn't suggest reaching to draft Giolito this spring, we would no doubt take a very late round upside stab here given the talent and future high-end stuff. 

 

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