Dynasty Baseball

2021 Dynasty Player of the Week: Lucas Giolito

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,Welcome back to our 2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week, where this week we will be looking at White Sox ace Lucas Giolito.

Before we get started, it’s time for some cheap plugs for myself. First, make sure you follow us on Instagram @fantasysixpack! I share my three favorite DFS plays on the page every day in our Reels feed.

Next, don’t forget to tune into the On Deck Circle Podcast live on Tuesday nights. You can find it on our YouTube and our Twitter as well. I am constantly learning from my co-hosts, Dave and Jason!

The prevailing story of the 2021 baseball season thus far is no-hitters. It is almost mid-May, and we have already had four no-nos. This week we will talk about a pitcher who threw a no-hitter of his own in the 2020 season. That player is none other than Lucas Giolito. He is ranked 24th overall and 4th SP in our latest dynasty rankings. 

2021 Dynasty Player of the Week: Lucas Giolito

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The Beginning

The year was 2012. I was figuring my life out at the age of 18 (still am at almost 28), and Lucas Giolitio was busy getting drafted in the first round by the Washington Nationals. He had electric stuff with a fastball hitting triple digits.

Giolito had a UCL injury, and tag caused him to fall down the draft board for many teams. The Nationals, however, were in a position at 16 to draft for upside. Giolitio was looked at as a pitcher with the highest upside in the draft.

Giolito came as advertised and rises the ranks as the top pitching prospect in the game going into the offseason in 2016. He was looked at by fans as the next big thing to be paired with then Nationals ace Stephan Strasburg. However, the Nationals had different plans; during the annual winter meetings, the Nats traded their prized prospect. The Nats shipped Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton.

The Nationals were able to make a run in the postseason, and they believed that they were an outfielder away. As a fan, I understand entirely, if you need a player, you get that player you think will take you over the top.

Up’s and Downs

Giolito made his White Sox debut in 2017. He pitched 44.1 innings and won 3 games. This was an encouraging start for the prized pitcher. He held an ERA of 2.30 and limited himself to only 12 walks, the same amount he had the year before in half of the innings. This end of the season had Sox fans excited about the next season and years to come.

I am not going to mince any words when we talk about Giolitio’s 2018 season. It sucked. He was absolute garbage, even bordering on droppable in some keeper leagues. He had an ERA over 6 in 173 innings. There’s no way to spin that. That’s bad. He led the league with 118 earned runs and 90 walks. There was something wrong with Giolito, but what was it? It seems to me that he was doing more throwing than he was pitching. This left the White Sox at a crossroads with their young pitcher.

Giloltio was statistically the worst pitcher in the MLB, and the following chart shows it. These percentile rankings are ICE COLD.

 

Breakout and Spinnin’

Well, you read the headline. Giolito broke the frick out in 2019. He had an era of 3.41 and made his very first All-Star team. At 24 years old, Giolito posted 14 wins, over 200 strikeouts with three complete games, and two shutouts. He was top 10% in the league in K% with 32%. This was the one that was promised. This is what the White Sox and their fans dreamt of when he made his debut.

In the shortened 2020 season, Giolito continued to be the ace that was promised. He continued to strike out batters at an insane clip, finishing in the top 8% in K%.

As you can see Giolito vastly improved from 2018-2020. His fastball spin rate nearly quadrupled, spin rate is something I was not really familiar with. However, you can see that the improved spin rate really translated into success for Giolitio.

2021 and Dynasty outlook

So far this season, Giolito has left much to be desired. He is a part of the strange experiment of Tony La Russa being a head coach again. However, no one should worry just yet. The only concern I have with his current stat sheet is that he falls in the bottom 7% of the league in opponents barreling the ball up.

He continues to have a high spin rate. As history shows, that works for him. Like I stated earlier, he is the fourth-ranked pitcher in Dave’s rankings.

It should be noted again: Giolito is just 26. He has a good 5+ years of pitching prime left. I would be buying Giolitio if you can buy “low.” I acquired him this past Monday. I sent off Cody Bellinger for Giolito, Jordyn Adams, and Danny Santana. So I sent around a top 10-15 player for a top30 and a top 100 prospect. I believe in Giolito; I hope he helps me win a championship this season. Part of this deal was my fear of Jason DeGrom being hurt, as he is my dynasty ace at this point.

 

Verdict

Go get him if you can. He is 26, and his arm is alive and well.  Expect him to win a Cy Young in the next five years. Also, expect him to win the Rocket City Trash Pandas a Scout Wars Championship! 


Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our fantastic team of writers.

About Nick Zaniboni

Nick is the heartthrob on dynasty baseball here at F6P, Co-host of the on deck circle podcast, avid Boston sports fan and professional wrestling give him a follow on twitter @nzaniboni93

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