Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Five things you need to know to prepare for the coming of Nationals super-prospect Lucas Giolito

Just a few weeks ago, the baseball world heralded the arrival of its next uber-prospect: Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias, the 19-year-old phenom out of Mexico with an arsenal beyond his years and fantastic taste in hats. But for all the jaw-dropping GIFs and squeals of glee, Urias wasn't even MLB Pipeline's top prospect when L.A. called him up. That would be Nationals righty Lucas Giolito, and on Tuesday against the Mets, he'll finally make his Major League debut.

We know, we know, just remember to breathe. This is a truly momentous occasion -- and to help ensure that you're adequately prepared, we've got everything you need to know about the future ace.
1. It's been a long road
Back in the spring of 2012, Giolito had put himself in contention to become the first high school right-hander drafted No. 1 overall in the history of the MLB Draft. But he sprained a ligament in his elbow, and he dropped to the 16th pick -- where Washington was more than happy to snatch him up. 

But that was just the beginning. Just one start into his professional career, Giolito needed Tommy John surgery, and would miss about a year. Since returning late in 2013, though, he's set the Minor Leagues on fire: A 2.71 ERA and 11.1 whiffs per nine innings in the Class A Advanced Carolina League in 2015, and a 3.17 ERA and 9.1 K/9 so far in Double-A Harrisburg this season. 
2. He's got jaw-dropping stuff
Now to the really fun stuff. And there's a lot of it -- Giolito's got a Major League-ready arsenal, with all manner of ways to get hitters out. There's his 80 fastball (on the 20-80 scouting scale), which can touch the high-90s ...

... or the wipeout curveball that already makes big league batters look silly:

And if somehow all that wasn't enough -- and, really, you should seek medical advice regarding that lack of a pulse -- consider that MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo chose Giolito's heater when piecing together his dream prospect.

3. He's an 80-grade baker
Sure, Giolito might be an elite pitcher -- but far more importantly, he's also an elite baker. It began as a hobby back in February, when he christened his Spring Training apartment with a housewarming cake:

Soon, though, it became an obsession. There was banana bread:

There were Oreo brownies that made our stomachs weep:

And, most recently, there was strawberry shortcake:

4. His grandfather appeared on "Seinfeld"
Want to get to know Giolito even more? Luckily for you, he participated in a Reddit AMA this spring. The following are just some of the tidbits that were revealed:
- He may or may not play Rocket League professionally
- His response to that eternal question -- is a hot dog a sandwich? -- was essentially to troll everybody
- His grandfather is actor Warren Frost, who appeared in a handful of "Seinfeld" episodes -- most famous among them season 4's "The Cheever Letters":

5. He's not lacking in confidence
This winter, asked some of the top pitching prospects in baseball which Major League star they'd most want to face. Giolito's answer? Miguel Cabrera -- you know, only one of the best right-handed hitters in the history of the game. On Tuesday night, we'll finally get to see if he can back it up.