Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Interview with Washington Nationals TOP Prospect: Lucas Giolito

       Lucas Giolito, 20,  is the Washington Nationals top prospect in their minor league organization, tenth best prospect in the minors and the second best right-handed starting pitcher in the minors ( Rankings by's draft and prospect expert, Jonathan Mayo ).  Selected 16th overall by the Washington Nationals during the 2012 MLB Draft, the Nationals signed Giolito to a bonus of 2.925 million dollars. If not for his sprained ulnar collateral ligament before the 2012 MLB Draft, Giolito was projected to be a top-ten pick, so it was not a surprise Giolito fell to the Nationals 16th overall. Giolito made only one start in the Washington National's minor league farm system in  2012, before undergoing Tommy John surgery that shut him down during his first professional season. He returned to the diamond during July of 2013, where his pitches dazzled scouts from opposing teams. Unlike many other teams ( that propel their top pitching prospects to the majors too fast ), the Washington Nationals will play the waiting game with Giolito, and call him up to " The Show" once he is capable of pitching with his fully developed arm, spirit and potential.

       * I would like to thank Mr. Pearlstein, the Hagerstown Sun's media manager for all of his hard work put into coordinating this interview between Mr. Giolito and myself!

                                         Without further waiting, let's jump into the interview!

  JE: You are currently in the midst of a superb season, what is the secret for your success, did you make any adjustments? ( Lucas Giolito is 10 - 2 this season with a 2.20 ERA so far. ) 

LG: I think over the course of the year, I did a good job of developing better control of all of my pitches and when you're able to throw pitches where you want, you're going to have a lot more success. I have just was able to get better over time.

JE: You are ranked the Washington Nationals top prospect in their organization, how do you deal with the hype and high expectations?

LG: I don't think about it too much. It's cool I'm thought so highly of by people in the media, organization and everything, and I definitely appreciate everything about it, but I'm a minor league player like everybody else, so everyday I'm just working hard to make it to the " Big Leagues."

JE: You have sprained your ulnar collateral ligament and have undergone Tommy John surgery, how are you trying to remain healthy?

LG: I know a lot more about my arm, I know what exercises I need to do to keep my arm healthy, not only that, but I've also made some mechanical adjustments here and there to make sure I stay healthy.

JE: Out of all of your pitches, which is your most lethal pitch?

LG: It actually depends on the day, it depends on what is working on that specific day. I've had days where my changeup was the most effective and I've had days where my curveball was looking sharp. Obviously the fastball is always there and I've been able to command that pretty well so far.

JE: How excited were you once you were told you would be playing in the 2014 Futures Game?

LG: I was extremely excited to be picked this year, I wasn't expecting to be selected this year, I was hoping I would be selected next year, but to be honored and selected is amazing.

JE: How has the Washington Nationals organization helped you further develop as a starting pitcher?

LG: We have a plan: to throw innings and get better as a pitcher. I work with my coaches to develop certain aspects of my game to get better every time I go out there ( To pitch ).

JE: How do you and your teammates occupy yourselves during long road trips?

LG: I spend a lot of time sleeping, we all play Clash of Clans, an I- phone game, we will watch movies and television shows on our computers.

JE: After home games, do you go home to a host family?

LG: Yes, Spenser ( Spenser Kieboom is a catcher for the Hagerstown Suns ) and I, live at a host family, everyone on our team lives with a host family.

JE: Who has been the best hitter you have pitched against?

LG: I've faced a lot of really good players, but if I had to pick out one, I would have to say Javier Baez. He was the player who hit the bomb off of me during the 2014 Futures Game, he has a heck of a swing. Actually, he is the only player who has hit my curveball really well.

JE: Have you developed any friendships with players from opposing organizations?

LG: Yes, I am friends with a few guys I played with in High School. To name a couple, Max Fried and Joey Gallo and some other teammates from high school that are now in opposing organizations.

                                     I had an excellent time interviewing Mr. Giolito!

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