Junior pitcher selected for initial US national team

By David Lim

The USA Baseball 18U National Team named pitcher Lucas Giolito ’12 to its initial 28 player roster on Sunday after two weeks of trials in Cary, North Carolina. Giolito will return for another round of trials in September that will narrow down the US team to the 20 players that will compete for the COPABE Pan American AAA/18U Championships in Cartagena, Colombia Sept. 23 to Oct. 2.

Giolito’s path to the 18U National Team began with his invitation to the Tournament of Stars, which featured 144 of the best ballplayers nationwide ranging from age 16 to 18. The prospects were divided into eight teams and were evaluated by USA Baseball scouts from June 21 to June 26.

Based on his record in the Tournament of Stars, including a 13-1 game in which Giolito pitched four innings, allowing only one hit each inning, he was among the 40 players who made the cut for the first round of the 18U National Team trials. He then participated in a second week of trials.

At the end of the trials, the 18U team played against the Collegiate National Team in the inaugural Prospect Classic in a nationally broadcasted two game series on July 1 and July 2. The event was the first matchup for USA baseball between the top college and high school draft prospects in the country.

“We got destroyed in both games against the collegiate team because it’s 16, 17 year olds versus 20 year olds,” Giolito, who pitched a no-hit inning in the 8-1 collegiate victory in the second game, said.

After the loss Saturday night, the 18U coaches announced to the players who had made the second round roster.

“Last night, actually around like 12:30, it was pretty late, we all got called into this room and they read the names of the 28 players,” Giolito said on Sunday.

Giolito will return to the final round of trials Sept. 12 through Sept. 21, in Cary, when the 18U team will be slimmed down to the 20 players who will play in Columbia at the Pan American Championships right afterwards.

“Participating in United States baseball means a lot in particular because I get to not only represent myself or my school, but also my family, my friends and, in essence, my whole country that I live in, that I’m proud to be a part of,” Giolito said. “That makes it pretty serious.”

“That’s why going into this, knowing that I made that 28 man [team], I’m going to work really, really, really, hard this summer. I’m attending a lot of events this summer but the main thing on my mind is going to Colombia and representing my country.”