The Chicago White Sox have an absolute stud in Lucas Giolito. His numbers are significantly above league average enough for him to be considered a high-end ace. He has finished in 6th and 7th for the American League Cy Young Award in 2019 and 2020 after struggling early in his career.
Now, the White Sox see him as that Opening Day/first game of playoffs starter that is a significant piece on a World Series contender. However, there is still more work to be done for the MLB Network to rank him on their top-ten starters list.
Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox isn’t on MLB Network’s top-ten list yet.
Just because he isn’t on the list, doesn’t mean he isn’t a phenomenal pitcher that doesn’t have league-wide respect. There are some phenomenal pitchers on this list that all deserve to be there. Jacob deGrom is the number one rated pitcher on the list and Gerrit Cole is right behind him at number two. Giolito has a lot of work to do before he is in the same class as those two guys but it could happen.
Now, the pressure isn’t solely on him anymore either which could help improve his game. He has studs like Dallas Keuchel and Lance Lynn behind him who are aces as well along with Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease who could be studs in the near future.
If Giolito is awesome in 2021, there is a good chance that he is on this list. Of course, the Cy Young level pitching is needed for the White Sox to get the most out of their roster. Giolito will be looking to have a lot of strikeouts, few walks, a good ERA, and a good WHIP. All of these things will help the Sox win more than they lose. It would also be good for his stock as an elite Major League pitcher going forward. Three straight years of dominance is very telling.
If there are some critiques to this list, other than the fact that Lucas Giolito isn’t on it, it would start with the placement of the two MLB Cy Young winners from a year ago. Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber are at four and five when you can make the case they should both be in the top three. It is hard to argue with the top-two in place but Bieber and Bauer were both outstanding in 2020.
Walker Buehler feels a little low as well. He is below his teammate Clayton Kershaw on the list which is strange at this point of their careers. Kershaw has the greatest career of these players but the Dodgers should probably see Buehler as their ace at this point. If Buehler is moved up, there is room for Giolito on this top-ten. A big year in 2021 could absolutely get him there.