Ideal pitchers frame. Long limbed and moved around better than expected given his age and size. Doesn't posses the cleanest set of mechanics ever. Features a big gear change from max leg lift to foot strike and lower body can drift at times rather than drive to home plate. Long arm action with a deliberate backwards stab out of his glove. Has some shoulder tilt but it helps him to release the ball well over 7 feet high at release point to create very tough plane on hitters. Actually liked his mechanics better out of the stretch when he was forced to streamline all his actions. Repeats his mechanics in an almost video game like fashion. Only lost mechanics briefly after getting a spike caught in the dirt.
Context is important in regards to his fastball. Giolito can reach back for much higher velocity but choose not to on this viewing. Talking to him after game he said arm felt fine but it was late in the year and he didn't want to empty the tank.
Even without breaking 95 his fastball was still a monster. Thrown with extreme downhill plane hitters had no shot at squaring the pitch up. He counteracts his loss in release distance because of his shoulder tilt with exceptional extension. Righties looked extremely uncomfortable against this pitch especially when he worked to his arm side.
Lacks movement but the extension and plane more than make up for it.
Command was exceptional. Didn't badly miss a target with his fastball until the 6th inning. When he does miss its either high to his arm side or yanked low and out of the zone to his glove side.
Movement wise the pitch is currently a 65 but he commands the pitch very well and knows how to use it.
The break itself is like nothing I've seen outside of big league breaking balls. Very hard vertical drop without much of a hump to give the pitch away. Has extremely fast spin.
Can throw to both sides of the plate but is a real monster when he works to his glove side.
Utility of the pitch is great. He knows how to dump it low in the strike zone early to get strikes. When he wants to hunt strikeouts he breaks the pitch a bit harder and buries it in the dirt.
Even pitchers in his bullpen were wowed by pitch. Strasburg-esque
Was pleasantly surpised by his change up. Keeps arm speed for the pitch and has control of the offering with an improving feel for command. Will throw it to both righties and lefties.
Doesn't seem to have a constant release for the pitch. Was really working on this pitch when I saw him and you could see him trying different things as the ball came out of his hand. At times it was a straight change up, other times he would pronate to try and make the ball fade away. Those were the good ones. He threw a handful of questionable change ups when his hand would supinate at release and it would end up coming out like a slow cutter.
However he ends up throwing it the pitch will be plus. He never gave away the pitch, he threw it for strikes, and he used it to righties and lefties in a multitude of counts.
As long as he doesn't break Giolito has the chance the be a monster. His floor is that of a number three starter and he has Cy Young winning ceiling. The fact that he didn't unleash his killer stuff in the start and it still might have been the best start from a minor leaguer I've seen this year speaks volumes. This kid has a chance to be his team's number one starter. For most players that's impressive enough but when considering who is in the Nationals current rotation it is easy to see why Lucas is the real deal.