Now that he’s got a no-hitter under his belt, what better time to go over some Lucas Giolito rookie card options? This is an interesting market at the moment because it’s one you can still get in on at a reasonable price. Not something you see every day for someone who has the potential to be a perennial All-Star. The question is will it pay off if you jump on in? While it’s impossible to know for sure, the best you can do is try to get an idea of what’s in store for the athlete in question. So let’s take a look at where Giolito’s been, and more importantly, where he may be going.
Lucas Giolito’s Long Road Back to Relevancy
Some may not know this but Giolito used to be the top prospect in baseball. He was armed with a deadly arsenal of pitches and had youth on his side, a combination that made scouts across the land foam at the mouth. And his minor league numbers weren’t bad either. In his first full season of A ball, Gilotio steamrolled his way to a 10-2 record. A record made possible by his stunning 2.20 ERA and 10.1 K per 9 rate. The next two seasons Gilotio continued to his minor league dominance and earned a call up to the big leagues by late 2016. But that’s where things started to fall apart.
Major League Bust
Perhaps at age 21, Lucas Giolito wasn’t ready for MLB action. Over the 4 games he started in his debut season, Giolito was lit up to the tune of a 6.75 era and horrendous 1.75 WHIP. Needless to say, he soon found himself back on the farm. Only this time with the White Sox after he and fellow prospect Dane Dunning were shipped to Chicago in exchange for Adam Eaton (the things GMs will do to make a World Series run!). While his second stint in the minors was only mediocre at best, it didn’t last long as Giolito soon found himself pitching full time for the White Sox.
The Beginning of a “Post-Hype” Comeback
The Major Leagues weren’t any easier the second time through. In 2018 Giolito logged 173 innings and came away with a ghastly 6.13 ERA (somehow he managed a 10-13 record out of that). But in 2019 something clicked that propelled Lucas Giolito to a breakout season, and surprisingly enough, an All-Star Game appearance. The name of that something? Control. In 2019 Giolito nearly halved his BB per 9 rate from 4.7 in 2018 down to 2.9. And while the control issues sprung up again early this season, Gilotio seems to have fixed that with only 4 walks over his last 21 innings.
Point is when he has his command, Giolito can be a bonafide ace. And if that’s what he’s going to become, it sure seems like the Lucas Giolito rookie card market is underbought!
Lucas Giolito Rookie Card Power Pack
2013 Bowman Chrome (Buy one eBay)
While not a true rookie card, it cerntainly is most collectible. The card features the budding ace mid-wind up and ready to bring the heat. It comes in a variety of beautiful refractor styles and is available with an autograph.
2016 Bowman Chrome (Buy this Lucas Giolito rookie card on eBay)
While the 2013 version is more of a “prospect card”, the 2016 is a true rookie card. There’s not much going on with this it, just a photo of Giolitio in his big league apparel coming set on the mound. Regardless of the wow factor, the card is one of the most valuable.
2016 Topps Heritage (Buy on eBay)
This one shows what appears to be an almost smug Giolito staring into the camera as if to say “yea, I know I’m the man”. Which is reasonable when you consider everything he had accomplished up until then. Needless to say, that smug look doesn’t resurface on any of his 2017 cards.
2016 Topps Chrome (Buy this Lucas Giolito rookie card on eBay)
Don’t want to buck up for the Bowman Chrome? Then why not consider the Topps version! With a photo of Giolito captured right as he’s about to release the ball, it’s certainly a better-looking card than the one from the 2016 Bowman set that shares the same name.
2012 Panini Prism (Buy on eBay)
Leave it to Panini to get the jump on a hyped-up new rookie. This one goes all the way back to Giolito’s first year in the National’s system and features a confident follow-through and ice-cold stare.
Overall Buyer’s Rating: The Reward Outweighs the Risk
Remember before the season started when we warned about what Shane Bieber was about to become? Well, the same could be happening with Giolito. Just like Bieber, Giolito is coming off a breakout season. And also like Bieber, Giolito has an uncanny ability to miss bats. Siure he may not be able to match Bieber’s absurd 14.5 K per 9 rate, but Giolito’s 12.0 rate isn’t too shabby either. The point is, the market for a Giolito rookie card still trails the Bieber market by quite a bit. If Giolito keeps pitching like he’s capable of, that will soon change.