Chicago White Sox: Lucas Giolito has come a long way
The Chicago White Sox have seen Lucas Giolito come a long way.
Prior to 2018, Chicago White Sox ace Lucas Giolito knew nothing but success as a pitcher in his life. He was a potential number one overall pick before he blew his elbow out and needed Tommy John surgery. That made him fall in the draft but eventually, the Washington Nationals used one of their selections on him. His stock continued to rise before he eventually reached the status as the number one pitching prospect in the world.
The Washington Nationals saw their window open and one that wouldn’t stay open before Giolito reached the Majors. With players like Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and Max Scherzer in the mix, the Nationals wanted to go for it. They traded Giolito, along with Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning, to the White Sox in exchange for Adam Eaton.
It was a strange trade from the Nationals’ point of view because Adam Eaton is a great player but that is a big haul for him. They ended up winning the World Series in 2019 with Eaton so no one will ever rip the trade for them again but the White Sox are lucky it was a done deal.
It didn’t look that way at first, however. In 2018, Lucas Giolito was awful. He was statistically the worst starting pitcher in the entire league. He lacked confidence and that took a big hit to the natural-born talent that he has. You know it was bad when you think about how Reynaldo Lopez outperformed him by a lot.
Well, that offseason, Giolito made a complete body and mind transformation. He worked on shortening his release point and changing his mental approach to the game. He deserves a lot of credit for wanting to change up something that has been working for him his entire life. It worked out because, in 2019, Giolito developed into one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. He finished in 6th place for the American League Cy Young award.
In 2020, he showed that it was no fluke. He had brilliant numbers again despite a slower start. Then, as the first game of the playoffs starter, he went out there and almost threw a perfect game. It was as dominant as a first career playoff game as you will ever see. On a day highlighted by other starters like Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole, Giolito was the best in the bunch. Hopefully, the Sox are able to get passed the A’s again because we want more Giolito.