BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 20: General Manager Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals talks to the media before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Washington surprises everyone by picking the right-handed pitcher, who has been dealing with a sprained UCL.
With the No. 16 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals selected right handed pitcher Lucas Giolito out of Harvard-Westlake High School. The first 15 picks did not play out the way many expected, and Washington General Manager Mike Rizzo had plenty of arms to chose from in the middle of Round 1. Giolito is a power pitcher with an unlimited ceiling but he has dealt with some right elbow issues, straining the ulnar collateral ligament early in the high school season. At the time of the Draft, he was throwing off flat ground.
Giolito can hit three digits on the radar gun and was considered a potential No. 1 overall pick, but teams were scared off by the medical issues. MLB.com draft expert Jonathan Mayo thought Giolito, a big righty, had the potential to be the first pick before the injury issues. Here's more of what Mayo had to say about Giolito:
Getting comps to Roy Halladay, in terms of his size, Giolito has been projected to have three above-average to plus offerings at his disposal at the next level. While his fastball sits comfortably in the 93-mph range, he was able to reach back and crank it up to 96 mph when needed. It's a heavy fastball that has some very good late movement, and his downhill plane makes it even tougher. Giolito throws a power curve with a sharp break as it reaches the plate. He also has an excellent changeup that dips like a split-fingered pitch. He's got above-average command of all three, keeping his pitches down in the strike zone to go along with above-average mound presence and competitiveness.
The deadline to sign 2012 1st Round picks is July 13 at 5 p.m. ET.
The Nationals do not have another pick on the first night of the Draft, with their next selection coming in 2nd Round on Tuesday at No. 80 overall.
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