Giolito's prospect star has faded slightly, as he entered 2016 as the top pitching prospect in the game, and is no longer a top-10 prospect for fantasy purposes. His fastball velocity and command both took a step back last season, as he averaged just 93.3 mph on his heater and posted an 11:12 K:BB in 21.1 innings in the majors. If his fastball velocity can rebound, which is possible, he still has the other ingredients to become a frontline starter, with a curveball that flashes plus-plus and a changeup that flashes above average. While he has Tommy John surgery on his resume, he also has the size (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) to eventually log 200-plus innings annually. For immediate fantasy purposes, this is a boon for Giolito's owners, as he did not have an obvious path into the Nationals' rotation, and should be a part of the White Sox's rotation in short order, possibly at the start of this season. He will also get to work with respected pitching coach Don Cooper. Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning rounded out the return package for Chicago.
Giolito will be called up for a third big-league stint this year with the minor-league season coming to a close. His results -- a 5.63 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, and 7:11 K:BB ratio -- in the four games he started for the Nationals this season have not been favorable, but he remains one of the top starting pitching prospects in the game and could still start for the big club at some point in the next few days. If he does not, he will be available out of the bullpen.
Giolito was called up to start Sunday's tilt, and though it was the longest he made it in his four major league starts (five innings), he surrendered four runs on six hits and two homers in a losing effort. The highly touted prospect hasn't found much success yet in his brief major league career, but he's been much better at Triple-A and will look to get straightened out there before potentially rejoining the big league club prior to the end of the season.
Nolan Arenado and David Dahl both took Giolito deep as the 22-year-old continued to find the leap to the big leagues a difficult one. He threw just 10 first-pitch strikes to 23 batters and managed only eight swinging strikes on 100 pitches despite his mouth-watering raw stuff. Giolito still has as much upside as any young pitcher in baseball, but he doesn't quite seem ready to make an impact.
He seemed the most likely candidate for the start after Reynaldo Lopez was sent down earlier in the week, and the team has confirmed that Giolito will come up to start the series finale against Colorado. Giolito hasn't gone more than four innings in any of his three major league starts to this point as walks have been a major problem (nine in 11 innings). The 22-year-old will likely have a short leash again Sunday.
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