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Lucas Giolito (SP, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups


BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 13% of Yahoo! leagues

ANALYSIS: After tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Indians his last time out, former top prospect Lucas Giolito is now sitting with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP on the season. Those numbers aren't anything to write home about just yet, but he also sports a 29.2% strikeout rate, as well as strong peripherals with a 3.48 FIP and a 3.99 SIERA.

Giolito is the very definition of the popular phrase TINSTAAPP - or 'there is no such thing as a pitching prospect'. Billed as the next star pitcher, the 24-year-old has battled injuries and tremendous control issues in his big league career up to this point.

While the control is still an issue - he sports a 11.5% walk rate on the season, nearly identical to last year's mark - it does appear that Giolito has made some positives changes in his pitch mix, which could bode well for the future.

For starters, Giolito is getting to two strike counts seven percent more often than he did last season, which is an incredible change. That is allowing him to use his wipeout slider more effectively, which he is burying low and away to right-handers, who are hitting a woeful .083 off the slider this season.

Getting into better counts allows Giolito's two weapons - his slider and his changeup - to do their thing, which makes him a strikeout machine. Two strike counts are also much less likely to result in walks, so the package is nearly complete for the still young right-hander.

I'm happy to stream him against poor-hitting teams in 12-team leagues, and could see a future where he is a must-own in that format.


Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!