Earlier today, word broke that Lucas Giolito, of Studio City Harvard-Westlake High Scool (say that five times fast), had sprained the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) in his pitching arm and would be out for a minimum of 8-10 weeks. This is a non surgical issue, but nevertheless, it will keep him out for the season. Giolito was one of, if not the top prospect, heading into this June’s MLB Draft and a possible selection of the Astros. After this news of his injury though, his chance of being selected number one overall this year is pretty much dead.
Giolito entered the season as the top high school pitcher in the nation and a serious threat to collegiate players of going first overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. A big guy, Giolito stands 6’6 and can throw his fastball 100mph. In other words, if he stays healthy, he can be a future ace for a lucky MLB team. With his injury, he may still very well enter the MLB Draft but he will not be the top pick. I have no doubts that he will, at the very least, be a compensatory pick but I’m guessing that if he proves to be healthy, a team near the bottom of the first round will pounce on him if he’s still on the board due to his unique size and skill set. Whether or not he will sign, is another story all together. In the past, it would be very likely for a player like Giolito to slide a bit because of the injury, with a team taking him later in the draft and going over slot to get him to sign. However, with the new rules, that might not be possible. Giolito could decide to go to college and pitch for three years (as that is the minimum in college) and hope that he can once again be considered for the top selection in an MLB Draft. My guess is he will still enter this draft and a lucky team will get a steal if he falls. For now though, his chances of being the top pick in this years draft are sadly over, which means he will not be an Astro in a few months.