When going to see top-tier pitching prospects while they’re still in the minor leagues, you can often expect to see at least one pitch in their repertoire that stands out above all as “that pitch” that “you need to see”. Maybe you saw Gerrit Cole’s routinely ridiculous fastball sit comfortably in the 96-98 MPH range while he was in Double-A. Maybe you got a glimpse of Taijuan Walker’s 92 MPH cutter as he was tearing up the Midwest League. Or perhaps you were #blessed by the presence of Kevin Gausman’s particularly obscene change-up. This year, the pitch that has received high praise from both real scouts and Twitter-scouts alike, is Lucas Giolito’s curveball. Often referred to as “the greatest breaking ball in the history of modern civilization”, Giolito’s hammer of a curve has earned rave reviews all year long. I saw Giolito pitch in mid-June at home against Greenville, and the curve was all that it had been hyped up to be. Low-A hitters had essentially no chance to square it up, let alone make contact at all. In that June outing, Giolito relied heavily on getting ahead in the count with fastballs low in the zone, and utilized the curve as his failproof out pitch whenever he needed it. His third pitch, a developing change-up, was used sparingly and clearly needed some work. Last night, I saw Lucas Giolito pitch for the second time this year. He allowed two hits through five shutout innings while walking two and striking out six Delmarva hitters. He did not throw a single curveball.
As you might know, we enjoy going to Hagerstown Suns games. They are the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. There is a fantastically awesome outfielder on their current roster named Will Piwnica-Worms. No, seriously.
Twas a glorious book from our childhood and was later turned into a movie. It’s How To Eat Fried Piwnica-Worms.
Jake got home last week from the Holy Land and we decided that it was time we both see our first game of the year. The Hagerstown Suns, the Low-A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are about an hour north of us. Conveniently enough, the Lexington Legends, the affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, were coming to Hagerstown for the weekend. What’s so special about the Lexington Legends, you might wonder? Well, besides the fact that this
is the hat they wear, their roster is loaded with absurdly young talent that we couldn’t wait to see. Specifically, the 7.5 million dollar man known as Bubba Starling, the Royals fifth overall pick from 2011, as well as the 17 year old son of former All-Star outfielder Raul Mondesi, Adalberto Mondesi. (Adalberto is his middle name and he’d rather go by his first name which is…Raul. His brother’s name is Raul too. Seriously.) So how was our experience ?