Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  Last updated 6/5/12

Entering the 2012 Amateur Draft, it was unclear who the Nationals would take with the 16th overall pick. Just before 9 pm on Monday, the Nats picked Lucas Giolito and surprised the baseball world once again.

With the Giolito pick, you can argue that the Nats got the top prospect five times in the last four seasons. Starting with Stephen Strasburg in 2009, the Nats followed with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Matt Purke, and now Giolito. Rendon was a consensus No. 1 pick before dropping due to injury and the same goes for Purke in the same year due to shoulder issues. Giolito was shut down with a strained ligament in his elbow not long before this selection.

Even though the Nats have drafted a couple injury plagued players in the last few years, they’ve smartly determined that the upside far outweighs the possibility that the players will never recover from the injuries. Sure, Rendon, Purke, and Giolito all have faced injury issues close to the draft, but if it turns out that any of those players are healthy, the upside far outweighs the risks.

The Nationals have an incredible amount of pitching depth, and they had even more before the trade for Gio Gonzalez. This is GM Mike Rizzo’s first step in replenishing the farm system, and he made the right call. He could have made an easy selection by choosing an inexpensive college student, but he didn’t. He made the expensive high risk, high reward decision.

With Giolito’s elbow issues, it immediately conjures up images of Stephen Strasburg’s and Jordan Zimmermann’s UCL tears and subsequent Tommy John surgeries. While Rizzo took a calculated risk with this signing, Giolito, once a projected No. 1 overall draft pick, projects to be a top of the rotation starter.

Even if the worst happens, and Giolito requires Tommy John surgery, the success rate is so high at this point with that surgery it seems like a no brainer to take the risk. If Giolito doesn’t work out, the Nats will move on with what looks like an extremely successful team in the coming years. If he does, the Nationals will continue to add incredibly talented pitching to an already impressive staff.

Giolito is young, and he likely won’t show up in the majors as quickly as Strasburg did. However, if he’s able to make an impact for the Nats in the next couple of years, Rizzo will be lauded as one of the most aggressive and underrated GM’s in baseball. He’s well on his way to that honor and drafting Giolito continues to push him in that direction.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Medals handed out at Rio Olympics literally falling apart

Report: Paul Millsap opts out of contract to become free agent

Ben Roethlisberger 'proud' of self-reporting 2015 concussion

Reporter responds on Twitter to LeBron calling him out at presser

Miguel Cabrera, Sam Dyson at odds over sign stealing accusation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Celtics were upset with talk focusing on Isaiah Thomas

Revis will not face NFL discipline after assault charges dropped

Allen: Washington has had ‘constant dialogue’ with Cousins

John Wall won’t sign extension until he sees Wizards' plan

Columnist reacts to Bennett's planned 'boycott' of Seattle paper

Bucs publicly challenging Jackson to earn big paycheck

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA power players continue to speak against Trump

The 'Rookies are running back to prominence' quiz

Gisele brings focus on Brady’s late career back to head injuries

Where did it all go wrong for the NBA second-round losers?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA power players continue to speak against Trump

The 'Rookies are running back to prominence' quiz

Gisele brings focus on Brady’s late career back to head injuries

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker