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Top 12 with Video on the Compton Countdown: #1, Lucas Giolito

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March 16, 2012

Number 1 on the Compton list. Well, duh. Giolito. Even with the bump in the road. That injury is the pitcher’s version of stubbing your toe, but the nomenclature that got attatched to it when the news broke, “season-ending injury,” made it sound catastropic, which it is not, and I’m willing to bet my lunch that some guys with better medical credentials than me will agree.

Seriously, I’ve been in a big league locker room enough times to know how this would have played out at the major league level: The manager would have skipped one start and then arranged the rotation so an off-day allowed him to skip another turn. With two starts down, then the team would DL the guy, so he’d miss two more starts. It’s a four-start injury for the physically mature. Let me see. I covered that news cycle. Oh, once, the Mets PR guy got pissed off at me because I got Willie Randolph to tell me in front of 20 reporters that Pedro Martinez couldn’t throw his breaking ball yet while he was on the DL. Hey, sorry, Willie, you played in the big leagues, and when someone asked you a smart question, “Duh,” was not the answer. But in this case of young Giolito here, “Duh,” remains the answer, he’s got number one on my first and last Compton Countdown, even with that ape-shit Wednesday morning in March.

Why: 97-98 easy gas with more in there.  A true hard, top-shelf curveball. I don’t really have much more to say. I guess I am reminded of an old scout named Al LaMacchia who saw Willie Mays playing for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948. Mays was a high school sophomore. LaMacchia was an old young man. And the first time I saw Giolito was as a sophomore in March 2010, months before anyone knew who he was. He was tall, thin, and growing. But you couldn’t miss the arm. Now, did I know I might be putting an 80 on his arm three years later? No, I did not, and anybody who says they could have predicted that before he cut loose that summer at the Area Codes would be lying, too. It’s a sign of the truly gifted scouts: those who like a player years before his draft season and then are happily surprised when the kid blows past the expectations you could have reasonably had only 20 months or so earlier.

I do know that what LaMacchia said of Mays as a sophomore is true of what I said of Giolito as a sophomore: “You’d have to be a horseshit scout to miss” Lucas Giolito.

(See Willie’s Boys, Chapter 9, “A Horseshit Scout.”)

People thought Mays wouldn’t hit. And once this elbow issue came out, people thought, somehow, this kid was done. That he was a risk. I mean, seriously. I know I’m just one man in the wilderness here, but I can say it:

You would have to be an utter horseshit scout to miss Lucas Giolito.

There, I’m done.

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Read March 2012 Lucas Giolito Scouting Update/Video – Hunting the 100 MPH Kid
Read February 2012 Lucas Giolito Scouting Update
Read January 2012 Lucas Giolito Scouting Update
Watch Sneak Peak Lucas Giolito Video

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