The Southern California Invitational at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif was held last week and Giolito was one of the many high school prospects to participate. I thought I would share the thoughts of a couple notable scouts who saw him there, where they think he is, and what he needs to improve on going forward. Keith Law of ESPN Scouts Inc. said Giolito had the best fastball at the event and ,in a surprise to me, rated his change up above his breaking ball which he called a "low-80s slider" and not the hard curve I have read he throws. Law also said Giolito has struggled with his command and control most of the times Law has seen him, but still is the best high school arm in the draft class and just needs a solid spring, showing some improvement to make sure he is the first HS arm taken. Baseball America's Aaron Fitt said that Giolito looked "strong as usual, though he was not as electric as he often was this fall". Fitt also mentioned that Giolito didn't throw the "plus-plus curveball" that he was throwing in the fall that had a lot of scouts buzzing. (so maybe he does throw a curve but didnt show it because it is early in the year??). So it sounds like both scouts liked what he showed but were not blown away by Giolito's performance at the showcase, but it is still very early and a lot can change by draft day. If he can show improved command and control this spring as while as an improved slider or show the plus curveball he threw in the fall he could solidify his chances of being taken in the top 5 of the draft and possibly by the Twins at #2.
*one interesting note from Law who was answering a question in his comments page said that he believes Giolito's teammate Max Fried may end up higher on some draft boards then Giolito. So Fried is another possible name to keep an eye for on this spring. (Fried was rated the 14th best prospect by Baseball America and I will try to have a scouting report on him up in the next couple of days.)