Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Giolito "confident" elbow is no issue

For a 17-year-old who just finished high school last week, Lucas Giolito comes across as extremely bright and well-spoken. It certainly can't hurt that the Nationals' first-round draft pick comes from a family used to being in the spotlight (his mother, Lindsay Frost, has appeared in dozens of TV shows; his uncle, Mark Frost, co-created the series Twin Peaks; and his grandfather, Warren Frost, played George Costanza's would-be father-in-law on Seinfeld (had George's fiance, of course, not died from licking too many toxic wedding invitation envelopes).

If nothing else, Giolito seemed at ease speaking to baseball writers on a conference call a few minutes ago ... at least, during the parts where the phone connection was clear. He expressed confidence that his strained elbow isn't an issue, expressed surprise and elation that he was drafted by the Nationals and said he tries to emulate Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg.

Here are some highlights from the right-hander's session with us...

Q: How are you doing health-wise, and what can do currently do?
"I've had some of the best doctors around treat me, and I'm feeling really good. I'm confident this issue is behind me. I'm been throwing on flat ground, I've been getting it out really far, so far I'm around 280-300 feet long-toss, and then I come back in. I'm throwing pretty hard from 60 feet [on] flat ground. There's no decision on what I'll do this summer, but I'm looking forward to pitching soon."

Q: Were you expecting to be drafted higher, and what did you think when you heard from the Nats?
"I really had no idea where I was going to go off the board. I was sitting there, and I was sitting with my family and close friends, and it was really just a huge surprise to get taken by such a great organization. The way everything happened, it just kind of struck me and I was speechless. It was just an awesome moment."

Q: Is there any chance the elbow issue would turn into something that would need surgery?
"I've never discussed that with my doctors. In my eyes until something like that happens ... I'm feeling really good right now."

Q: How would you describe yourself as a pitcher?
"I really like to throw my fastball a lot and bust people in, and then maybe come back with my curveball. I've been developing my changeup a lot, so that's obviously a tool that I'll be able to use. Just a combination of everything to be able to attack hitters and do everything I can to help the team win."

Q: Knowing your family's background in Hollywood, was that ever an option for you?
"It was never really an option for me. I've always played baseball, I've always played sports. But yeah, my mom's side of the family, it's a big kind of writing-acting, that type of art environment. Even my little brother has kind of gotten into that. He's been in musicals the last couple years in middle school. But it's never really been something I've been interested in. I've always been interested in baseball."

Q: How important is it for you to sign?
"Well, if it was right, I'd say pro ball. But obviously I [committed to] UCLA for a reason. It's one of the best baseball programs. ... Obviously UCLA is a really big option for me, and we'll see how everything plays out."

Q: What baseball players do you like and try to emulate?
"Definitely Justin Verlander has become someone I try to emulate and really pitch like, especially watching him last year in his MVP season. In the Nationals organization, definitely Stephen Strasburg. The way he goes about pitching is the same kind of thing I want to do."

24 comments:

Section 222 said...

He's excited to be drafted by the Nationals. Wow. We have come a long way. Sounds like we have a very good shot to sign this guy. Well done Rizzo.

Tcostant said...

"...really just a huge surprise to get taken by such a great organization."

To quote the old Virginia Slims ads, we come a long way baby!

peric said...

Strasburg, Gio, Purke, fellow Californian Kylin Turbull, Solis, plus positionally: Harper, Espinosa (YES Espinosa), Desmond, Lombardozzi, Rendon, and even Goodwin.

These kids know who these young players are. They understand it could be a really good place to grow up into the majors.

JamesFan said...

The compliment to Washington is a pleasant surprise. We like to think this is true and I believe it is, but could also be a pretty good negotiating move by the agent to have him say this.

Signing him may be a real challenge. My guess is that his parents will nudge him toward UCLA even though passing up this opportunity is high risk if baseball is his real love.

natsfan1a said...

Welcome to Lucas (Luke?).

(Too bad George didn't go with the "manly" invitation plan: "I think that if the wedding invitations were left up to the men, we'd just drive around sticking flyers in windshields ...y'know... Not even typed up either, just Magic Marker, Xerox, you know...Party!!")

Grandstander said...

Does anyone know who he's represented by?

natsfan1a said...

Grandstander, from Mark's earlier post:

"The Nationals also have a limited window to sign Giolito (who is advised by the same agency that represents Ryan Zimmerman, Drew Storen and John Lannan) with MLB's deadline moved up to July 13 from August 15."

sm13 said...

Worst case, he needs TJ sugery and it delays his first start in Hagerstown until he is 19. Not a big.

He's represented by the agency that is the agent for RZim. Hopefully he is anxious to sign and we'll have some of our allocation left to sign some of our other picks.

hiramhover said...

C'mon, folks--of course he's saying nice things about the team! Because:

a. the Nats are a pretty good team, and
b. you're always supposed to say nice things about the team that drafted you--no matter what.

No need to go all Sally Field: "he likes us, he really does!"

peric said...

Signing him may be a real challenge. My guess is that his parents will nudge him toward UCLA even though passing up this opportunity is high risk if baseball is his real love.

They've got him ... its why they are already into signability picks. Its going to be a lean draft thanks to Selig ... its all about Giolito and perhaps Boras client Mooneyham.

Selig + Kasten == cheap, cheap, cheap not the Lerners. That much is crystal clear.

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frediemac said...

Anybody know why our pick in the 2nd Round is #80 overall? Is this because there are so many compensation picks?

JD said...

Frediemac,

Exactly !

JD said...

If I'm not mistaken they are discontinuing draft compensation for lost free agents or at least limiting them. I don't feel like researching so I may be wrong here.

Tcostant said...

Fred:

2nd pick is Tony Renda (2B Cal)
3rd Pick is Stanford SP Brett Mooneyham

Here is a link to follow picks:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/nationals-take-2b-tony-renda-in-the-second-round/2012/06/05/gJQA3wEFGV_blog.html

pRAA said...

Anybody know why our pick in the 2nd Round is #80 overall? Is this because there are so many compensation picks?

Also, I think the Nats lost their second round pick when they signed a free agent - Edwin Jackson, most likely.

Tcostant said...

JD there are new limitations, the biggest being you must be on a team a full year to get compensation. So any free agent to be trade this summer, the team that aquires the player will loss him for no draft pick if they dont resign him.

CN said...

Hopefully Giolito is wearing a curly W cap on his 18th b-day, that would make for the best Bastille Day ever...

SCNatsFan said...

I think you can read his committment to UCLA being worthless; if the idea is he goes and proves himself and gets drafted higher, going for more money, then I think we can all agree he won't be going for all 4 years. The question is if the numbers are good enough for him to sign here and Rizzo and Co. have shown that paying prospects is not a problem. The same issues about a cap will exist next year too; some of the guys drafted high will have to realize sooner or later that they missed out on the huge payday by a year. It wouldn't surprise me if it took right until the deadline for the dominoes to start to fall because no one is quite sure what these prospects are worth or what they will have to settle for.

ChiefWJ said...

Unlike college players or JUCO players, this doesn't look like a negotiation driven by one-year leverage for the draftee--if he doesn't sign, he can't be drafted again for three years as long as he stays in a four-year college. So, he has less leverage than a third-year college player who could not sign & re-enter the pool the next year (e.g., Aaron Crow) or a HS player who is willing to go to junior college. I'd guess if he winds up going to UCLA its because he really wants to.

SFNats said...

hiramhover said...
"C'mon, folks--of course he's saying nice things about the team! Because:

a. the Nats are a pretty good team, and
b. you're always supposed to say nice things about the team that drafted you--no matter what."

--------------------------------------

I dunno, hiram. Did you see Mark Appel's statement after he was drafted by the Pirates yesterday?

"I'm currently concentrating on winning a national championship and finishing my academic endeavors at Stanford. I will address the possibility of a professional career in due time."

Doesn't exactly sound thrilled.

SonnyG10 said...

Do we have a smaller pool of money to sign players? If so, why is that? Are we being punished for signing over slot last year?

Steady Eddie said...

Sonny --

I believe the pool for each team is set largely based on their draft order, on the principle that higher slot draftees get more money.

Not punishment for overslot last year, but because we finished in the top half of MLB.

natsfan1a said...

Another link to follow picks :-)

http://www.csnwashington.com/baseball-washington-nationals/nationals-talk/Nationals-Day-2-Draft-Tracker?blockID=719714&feedID=10376

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