All American Game : : Story
At the conclusion of the recent 2011 Perfect Game Sunshine West Showcase in Chula Vista, Calif., a PG blogger took the time to write the following about elite right-handed pitching prospect Lucas Giolito:
“Giolito looked like a potential first round pick in his outing. The big right-hander throws it easy and the ball jumps out of his hand.”
A PG scout watching Giolito pitch at the same event broke it down even further in his report:
“Big XL body, projectable build, long loose arm action, good arm speed, slow-paced balanced delivery, down plane, pitches come in at good angle, ball comes out easy, low effort, pounded the strike zone …”
In the movie industry, such accolades are known as “rave reviews.” And as the calendar flips into August, expect many more of the same to come Giolito’s way.
The Sunshine West Showcase, which ran June 11-12 at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, was Giolito’s first big showcase event of the summer. Now, it gets even better.
From Aug. 12 through 14, Giolito will be in San Diego to take part in the festivities surrounding the 2011 Perfect Game All-Star Classic presented by Rawlings.
The game itself, which showcases the top prospects in the high school class of 2012, will be played on Sunday, Aug. 14 at the San Diego Padre’s PETCO Park, and will be televised live by the CBS Sports Network (5 p.m. PDT). Proceeds from the event will benefit the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.
“It’s an unbelievable honor,” Giolito said of his selection. “I’ve been working hard for it for a long time and being able to partake in that kind of experience is just unbelievable. I’m not going in expecting anything performance-wise, I just want to go in and have the time of my life. I’ve been looking forward to it all summer.”
Giolito was speaking over the phone after finishing a two-hour weight-training session, something he does three times a week during the summer. He must be adding some strength; his fastball reached 98 mph during a San Gabriel Valley Arsenal Scout Day session on Sunday.
Giolito has 230 solid pounds packed onto a 6-foot-6 frame, and his powerful right arm is able deliver fastballs to home plate at speeds that now have reached the high-90s.
A senior in the fall at Harvard Westlake High School (Studio City, Calif.) who calls Santa Monica home, Giolito is ranked the No. 2 national prospect in the class of 2012 and has verbally committed to UCLA. He was a 2011 Perfect Game Underclass Preseason All-American selection.
Giolito was a participant at the 2010 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., and at the PG National Games Class of 2012 in San Diego last August. He recently pitched for SGV Arsenal at the 2011 PG WWBA 2012 Grads or 17u National Championship in Marietta, Ga., and in June was named to the 28-man roster for Team USA 18u National Team after trials in Cary, N.C.
Giolito loves interacting with all of the other top prospects who attend those prestigious events.
“Though all these showcases and events and all these things, I’ve gotten to know a lot of them, even if they’re from the other side of the country,” Giolito said. “Being able to immerse yourself in other personalities and maybe even other cultures from other parts of the country, that a huge educational experience.”
Before heading to San Diego for the PG All-American Classic, Giolito will return to Long Beach to play in the 2011 Area Code Games Aug. 5-11. He is a member of the Milwaukee Brewers Area Code team, and the roster is loaded with many of the top of the top prospects from Southern California.
Ten of Giolito’s Area Code teammates will join him on the Perfect Game All-American Classic West Team roster: Max Fried (the No. 27-ranked national prospect), Ryan McNeil (No. 29), Corey Oswalt (No. 41), Cody Poteet (No. 33), Tanner Rahier (No. 16), Daniel Robertson (No. 43), Rio Ruiz (No. 9), CJ Saylor (No. 39), Hunter Virant (No. 10) and Trey Williams (No. 5).
Like Giolito, Fried, Poteet, Robertson and Virant have committed to UCLA. Oswalt (Oregon), Rahier (San Diego), Ruiz (USC), Saylor (San Diego State) and Williams (Pepperdine) have also made D-I commitments.
Giolito verbally committed to UCLA and head coach John Savage before the start of his junior year in high school.
“I visited a few good schools all around California and Arizona, and as soon as I stepped on UCLA’s campus it felt right,” Giolito said. “Talking with Coach Savage – it’s been unbelievable what’s he done there – and it felt like perfect fit.”
Giolito still has his senior year of high school to look forward to before he needs to start thinking about college or next June’s 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft. And he’s also got a lot to look forward to over the next two weeks.
“These next couple of weeks, it’s closing up the summer and it’s going to be really great,” he said.