He has loved baseball ever since he was a little kid. His parents, Rick and Lindsay, played a big part in his love for the game. Lucas would sit between them while his father rooted for the Mets and his mother cheered for the Twins.
"I was a baby sitting there in front of baseball games," he said. "I started T-ball at 5, 6 years old, and I just kept growing and growing. I did a lot of reports in grade school—Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, all the legends."
As Giolito got older and showed an interest in pitching, he admired Tigers ace Justin Verlander because of his consistency on the mound.
In 2012, his senior year at Harvard-Westlake High school in Studio City, California, Lucas committed to UCLA.
He had pitched only 17 innings in 2012 because he sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow in March. He went 2-1, 0.84 ERA with 15 strikeouts while allowing seven hits and three walks.
He comes from a wealthy family. Lucas' parents, Rick Giolito and Lindsay Frost, are Hollywood actors who have appeared on several television shows.
Rick appeared on the TV series "Hunter" and "Who's the Boss" as well as the movie "Hit the Dutchman." Where he really made his mark was as the executive producer of the popular Medal of Honor video-game series.
Lucas' mom, Lindsay Frost has had parts in such movies as "Dead Heat" and "The Ring," as well as Collateral Damage and many TV series, such as "Frasier," "The Unit," "Crossing Jordan" and "Bull."
And there is Giolito's grand-father, Warren Frost. Fans of the iconic TV comedy "Seinfeld" might not recognize the name until they realize he played Henry Ross in five episodes of the show—the father of Susan Ross, the erstwhile fiancee of George Costanza, until dying after licking the toxic adhesive on the cheap wedding invitations George bought for her.
You've seen Lindsay Frost in dozens of movies and TV shows over the years. She's also an accomplished artist with paintings inspired by her love of baseball. She also raised one of the best pitchers in the White Sox rotation — Lucas Giolito.
Now Frost is lending her talents to raise money for White Sox Charities. Five Sox-themed paintings will be on display in the #SoxSocial Tap Room for the rest of the season and then auctioned off. To see Frost's work go to LindsayFrost-Art.com. (WGN News- Aug. 13, 2019)
June 2012: The Nationals chose Giolito with their #1 pick. And he finally signed, on the deadline day of July 13 for a bonus of $2.9 million, $800,000 more than the slot.
Because Lucas comes from a wealthy family, he made it clear it would take a very significant signing bonus to keep him from going to UCLA. And the new draft rules restrict how much teams can offer once you get past the first couple of picks, so it was a real gamble for the Nats to take him where they did, knowing they'd have to save money with most of their other top-10 picks in order to give Giolito more than the slot recommendation for the No. 16 pick. It was bold, and it was savvy.
In 2013, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Giolito as the second-best prospect in the Nationals organization, behind only Anthony Rendon. They had Lucas as the #1 prospect in their farm system in the winters before 2014 and 2015 and 2016 spring camps opened—three years in a row.
After the White Sox acquired Lucas in December 2016, he was ranked the second-best prospect in that system, behind only INF Yoan Moncada.
Lucas is a good worker. He has impressive makeup and character.
He eats french toast and sausage for breakfast on the morning before he pitches. Or, he will a sausage and egg biscuit and some biscuits and gravy.
In 2014, Giolito got the full Minor League experience as he came back from Tommy John surgery. As a result, Lucas was awarded the Nationals' organization's 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.
"Physically it's on a whole other level," said Giolito. "You're pitching every fifth day. You're going out there throwing five innings-plus, trying to stay out there as long as you can. There's a certain physical aspect to it that you've got to stay on your program, stay in shape and do all the right things. I felt I stayed strong throughout the year and ended up having a good one."
In 2015, the Nationals chose Giolito to play in the Futures Game.
January 2016: MLB.com caught up with Giolito to talk about his season and his future with the Nationals.
MLB.com: What was your reaction when you heard that you were invited to big league Spring Training?
Giolito: I was delighted. I feel like I've been working pretty hard the past two years, especially coming back from Tommy John surgery. It's a huge honor to get that invitation. It's a good step in the right direction toward making the club and contributing.
MLB.com: You will be working with Stephen Strasburg, who had Tommy John surgery in 2010. How fascinating will it be to work with him, especially with what he has gone through with the surgery and with the success he has had since that time?
Giolito: I met Stephen a couple of times. It's going to be awesome to be in the same clubhouse with him, as well as guys like (Max) Scherzer and Gio (Gonzalez). It will be great to see how those guys go about their business, how they are able to maintain health and strength throughout the entire year, which is something I have not done yet. I haven't pitched 200 innings (in a season) yet.
MLB.com: What did you think of your season in 2015?
Giolito: I thought it was a great year as far as learning about myself, developing certain aspects of the game. A lot of it was on the mental side. I wish my numbers were better. I felt, numbers-wise, I'm a better pitcher and I threw more. At the same time, there were a lot of things I improved on. For example, I got a lot better dealing with adversity on the mound. Earlier in the season, I let a lot of things get to me like the cheap hit, the ground-ball single or the broken-bat single that would maybe score a run or two. I focus on what I can focus on -- that next pitch, trying to get the next batter out.
MLB.com: Since you were drafted, what pitches have you developed in professional baseball?
Giolito: I threw all the same pitches in high school that I throw now. But after surgery, my circle changeup improved dramatically. During the Tommy John process, I was able to get that release point. I really developed the changeup to the point that it's a pitch that I can throw in any count. I love to throw it when I'm behind in the count—2-0, 2-1. It keeps hitters off-balance. I feel like that pitch has improved dramatically over the course of my pro career. (Bill Ladson - MLB.com - January 5, 2016)
June 28, 2016: Giolito was supposed to go to Triple-A when he received a phone call from assistant general manager Doug Harris telling him to "hang on, be ready for whatever." Giolito was not sure what that meant, before the next call from Harris told him he would be promoted to the Majors.
"I'll remember that call for the rest of my life," Giolito said.
Giolito said he received scores of pregame advice, but a piece of advice offered by Nationals manager Dusty Baker -- who got it from Hank Aaron, no less -- stuck with him: "You can be anxious, you can be nervous, but don't be scared. You belong here," Baker told him. (Collier - MLB.com - 6/28/16)
Although he didn't get the victory in his first start, delayed twice by rain, Giolito didn't forget who helped him make it to the big show. Sitting behind home plate were his parents, Rick Giolito and Lindsay Frost, and many other family members.
"I don't know if my dad was even able to watch. He might have been hiding somewhere and nervous," Major League Baseball's top prospect said. "He probably kept it under control. My family has been there every step of the way, going back to when I was in Little League. My mom and dad driving me to games, to travel baseball, waking up at five in the morning going God knows where in the middle of California. It all led up to this moment."
Lucas told his parents about the debut and according to Rick, they were taken by surprise. It came three-plus years after Lucas had Tommy John surgery.
"He is 21 years old and he spent a year-and-a-half in rehab. We are so proud of him," Rick said. "We thought he was going to Triple-A and then he called us and said, 'Look, you might want to make plans to come to Washington.' I said, 'Oh, my goodness, really?' We were shocked."
Frost said words can't express how proud she is of her oldest son. She was in Vermont with her parents when she was able get on a conference call and her husband and Lucas gave her the great news.
"It's a phenomenal experience," she said. "My husband was in California with our other son. I got a call from Lucas and Rick. I knew when Rick said, 'Oh, I have Lucas on the phone, too,' I knew there was some extra special news. It was very quick. We all switched flights, made flights. It's been a hectic couple of days, but totally worth it."
While his Major League debut was shortened by a rain delay, Giolito still managed to impress, allowing only one hit over four scoreless innings. (Ladson - MLB.com - 6/28/16)
If Lucas Giolito had followed the path traveled by his family, he might be getting ready for the Academy Awards instead of the 2017 Major League Baseball season. Reviewing dailies at some exotic locale would be more likely than throwing bullpen sessions at Camelback Ranch. He would be taking cues from Martin Scorsese instead of White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. But the acting bug never really hit Lucas.
.Giolito's father, Rick, has 10 acting credits on his IMDB page including "As the World Turns," "Hunter," "Who's the Boss," "Jake and the Fatman" and "Twin Peaks." Giolito's mother, Lindsay Frost, features 49 credits dating back to "Hill Street Blues" in 1983. She also acted on "As the World Turns," as well as "Crossing Jordan," "Boston Legal" and "Without a Trace."
Lindsay's brother, Mark, is the co-creator of "Twin Peaks," and her brother, Scott, is a writer that has worked on "Twin Peaks," "Flipper" and "Andromeda." Then there's Giolito's grandfather, Warren Frost, who played Susan's father in the iconic comedy series "Seinfeld."
"It never interested me," Giolito said of acting. "I even remember I did a school play when I was in like the fourth grade, one of those really short low-key ones, where you don't have to learn many lines. I didn't feel comfortable doing it then. It was never for me. I just loved baseball ever since I was a little kid playing T-ball at 5 years old."
Giolito was asked about using the "Seinfeld" theme as his warmup music. The 6-foot-6 right-hander laughed and deferred, admitting he has to catch up on the show and learn about Prickly Pete, Snoopy and George's solarium in The Hamptons from an episode entitled "The Wizard," involving his grandfather.
"Guys are always asking about my grandfather being on Seinfeld and everything, which is awesome," Giolito said. "I know it's one of the best sitcoms ever, but I haven't seen enough of Seinfeld to get all the references. Reporters ask about it. Whenever a teammate or coach finds out, like [Cooper] asked me, I was talking with him on the phone, and he was like, 'I think I read somewhere that it was your grandfather on Seinfeld,' and I was like, 'Yes he was.' He was excited to hear that as a Seinfeld fan, as well."
Lucas' brother, Casey, turns 18 in May and is currently applying to theater programs in an attempt to join the family business. Lucas has nothing but pride for his family's accomplishments, something that actually is helping him handle part of his Major League dream.
"When I was a kid, I used to run lines with my mom when she had auditions. So talking with media has never been an issue," Giolito said. "I learned a lot from my mom growing up. The acting, writing, that talent in the family is fantastic. I'm glad I was able to grow up with it. I was able to learn a lot about that kind of side of the world, I guess you could say." (Scott Merkin - MLB.com - Feb. 2017)
The Taylor Hooton Foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to raise awareness about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs and anabolic steroids in youth sports, announced that White Sox pitcher Lucas has been named to the foundation's advisory board.
Giolito became involved because he wants to do his part to "help keep the game clean," he said. The foundation reached out to him in Spring Training 2018, and though he said the board hasn't convened yet, he's looking forward to the first meeting.
"Just the unfair advantage it causes and how that can hurt baseball," Giolito said. "Then on top of that, just trying to set a good example for the younger generation of baseball players and athletes beyond that to know the risks involved in anabolic steroids, HGH, things like that."
Members of the board participate in the foundation's "It's All Me" campaign and help educate local youth communities about steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in the best ways they see fit.
After the death of Taylor Hooton in 2004 following his use of anabolic steroids, Hooton's family created the foundation in memory of the 17-year-old. "A lot of times, people focus on the reward gained from those and they don't worry so much about the long-term damage it can cause to your body," Giolito said, adding he wants to, as a role model, "bring awareness to all those things." (Gelman - mlb.com - 8/1/18)
September 8, 2018: Giolito's pre-game ritual makes it look like he was abducted by aliens. Baseball players do a lot of strange things to prepare to play in Major League games. A notoriously superstitious bunch, big leaguers often develop bizarre routines based on certain meals, how they put on a uniform, or a specific kind of workout.
Some of these routines are more standard across the game than others, but that doesn't make them any less unusual to an outside observer. In the case of Lucas Giolito, an important between-start routine is something known as cupping therapy.
Cupping was first brought to the mainstream during the 2016 Summer Olympics when swimmers like Michael Phelps were spotted with large red circles all over their bodies. Cupping has since become a training method in other sports, including baseball. And players like Giolito have taken a liking to the practice—with the knowledge that the huge dark circles on their skin are a bit odd to the naked eye. ( Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman )
Dec. 22, 2018: Lucas married Ariana Dubelko. Ariana graduated from SMU where she was a member of the Equestrian team. Her dad played football at Ohio State.
Adriana was on the equestrian team at SMU. She is currently enrolled in the veterinarian program at the Univ. of California-Davis.
Before 2019 spring training, Giolito took part in 20 sessions of a computer-based program called neurotherapy or neurobiofeedback. It uses real-time brain activity to teach self-regulation of brain function.
Asked to explain it in layman's terms, Lucas said, "Basically, it's having your brainwaves read. For me, it's basically about controlling my breathing and staying confident at all times."
Neurofeedback has caused Giolito to use his brain less on the mound and rely more on natural athleticism, which he believes has been a big help.
"There's times where I would say it's being too smart, I'd say it was being too methodical, analytical, thinking too mch about things that you don't have to think about," Giolito said of his old thought process. "For me, it's always easier when I can just shift the brain off and just work -- let my body work." (John Perrotto - Baseball Digest - Sept., 2019)
2019 Spring Training: The Cactus League split-squad starts for Dylan Cease and Lucas Giolito took place approximately 19 miles apart in Arizona. But there still was a competitive kinship between these two talented young White Sox starters.
“Competition between teammates will always bring the best out of teammates,” said Giolito. “Always trying to compete in whatever we do, whether it’s our outings—if we are pitching on the same day—in the weight room, showing each other exercises, trying to outlift each other, outrun each other.
“All those things kind of come together and bring the best out of all the players. That’s what’s important is having a good camaraderie but also some friendly competition along the way.”
“There’s no like ‘I hate you and I want you to fail so I’m better,’” said a smiling Giolito. “That doesn’t breed anything good at all. It’s all about supporting each other, but at the same time, egging each other on and if you see someone slacking off in one area, then you give them a little kick in the butt and get them back on track.” (Scott Merkin -MLB.com - March 5, 2019)
July 2019: Giolito represented the White Sox in the All-Star Game.
Lucas took the mound in the fourth inning of the 2019 All-Star Game at Progressive Field, and he fit right in amongst baseball’s biggest stars. He issued a four-pitch walk to the first batter he faced, the Braves' Freddie Freeman, but then retired a trio of dangerous National League sluggers -- Cody Bellinger, Nolan Arenado and Josh Bell -- to complete his scoreless frame in the American League's 4-3 victory.
“Going out there that inning, facing some of the best hitters, further cements to me that this is where I belong,” Giolito said. “[I’ll] continue to build some confidence from there and keep riding it out.”
The first-time All-Star struck out Bellinger, an NL Most Valuable Player Award candidate, on an 82.8-mph inside changeup, and retired Arenado and Bell on a pair of soft groundouts.
“The closest thing I can compare it to is my MLB debut,” Giolito said. “Obviously I faced, 1-2-3, some of the best hitters in the game right now.”
“If you want to compete at this level and stay here for a long time, you have to have the confidence that you’re better than everybody else,” Giolito said. “That’s what I take in my start against whoever, in the regular season or an All-Star game. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”
"I'm definitely not the guy who came up and set the league on fire. I took a bunch of lumps, especially in 2018," Giolito said. "I went into the 2018 offseason with a different gameplan. I knew I was so much better than what I showed all my time in the big leagues up until this year. I was able to turn it around quickly and get back on track to be the pitcher I know I can be." (Thornburg - mlb.com - 7/10/19)
2019 Season: Giolito got off to a rough start with a 5.30 ERA in April. However, he would follow that up with two dominant months where he allowed opponents to bat just 0.169 and 0.198 in May and June, respectively.
He finished the first half of the season with a 0.194 opponents’ batting average in 100 innings of work while striking out 120 batters and walking just 38. Overall, Giolito finished with a 3.41 ERA in 29 starts this season and a ridiculous 11.6 strikeouts per 9 innings.
April 26, 2020: The most fun part of viewing Giolito’s Twitch stream is his interactions with fans. Here are a few opinions Giolito shared during a recent AMA:
Movies -- Favorite Movie Ever: Saving Private Ryan. Worst Movie Ever Seen: Grown Ups 2. It was also the closest he’s ever gotten leaving a theater during a movie. Favorite Movie Director: Quentin Tarantino. Favorite Baseball Movie: Bull Durham. Major League is his second favorite. Hoosiers is one of his favorite sports movies.Favorite Martin Scorsese Movie: Goodfellas. Not really into comic book movies or Disney movies.
Television -- Giolito is currently watching Ozark. He thinks the show is OK because of Jason Bateman, but the writing is too predictable. He did see Tiger King. He doesn’t know if Carol Baskin killed her ex-husband, but Giolito doesn’t agree with the free-Joe Exotic crowd. Next show Giolito will be binging: Better Call Sau. lBreaking Bad is one of his favorite TV shows. His Top 5 Favorite Sitcoms (in no particular order): The Office, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Curb Your Enthusiasm, How I Met Your Mother, and Schitt’s Creek. Favorite show as a kid: Pokemon. Best Animated Series Ever: Avatar: The Last Airbender. Criminal Minds is a guilty pleasure.
Video Games -- Favorite Video Game Ever: The Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time. Most Played Video Game: Rocket League. Go to Super Smash Bros. Character: Kirby. Go to Mario Kart character: Yoshi. First Video Game Console: Nintendo 64.
Food/Drink -- Beer Choices: Started with IPAs but now prefers pilsners. Listed Modelo as a personal favorite. Go to Quarantine Snack: Snyder’s Honey Mustard n’ Onion pretzel bites. Portillo’s order: Italian beef with everything, fries, and a milkshake. However, he thinks the Chocolate Cake Shake is too much. Go to Fast Food: In-N-Out. Giolito does have a beef with Five Guys. He enjoys his burgers to be medium rare and doesn’t like how every burger at Five Guys is cooked well done. He also thinks Whataburger is comparable to McDonald’s. From personal experience, Giolito will lose some clout from fans living in Texas.
Music -- Listens mostly to rappers. Personal favorites: Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and Kid Cudi. Big fan of the album Blondie by Frank Ocean. Not a country music fan. He also enjoys reggae style music and is a fan of Rebelution. Best Player on his High School Team Senior Year: Max Fried. Best Harvard-Westlake Player of All-Time: Jack Flaherty. Most Fun Pitch to Throw: High heaters.
Giolito has participated in quite a few First Pitch ceremonies at Guaranteed Rate Field. The best first pitch he caught was Sister Mary Jo Sobieck. His favorite First Pitch is with Kanye West.
How three HS teammates became MLB stars
A trio of Harvard-Westlake pitchers is already dominating in the Major Leagues right now. That's Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito and Max Fried -- three teammates at Harvard-Westlake who all went on to be first-round Draft picks and all had breakout seasons in 2019 for their respective big league clubs, the Cardinals, White Sox and Braves.
This is what the three of them did last season (2019):
Flaherty (age 23): 11-8, 2.75 ERA, 231 K, 196 1/3 IPGiolito (age 24): 14-9, 3.41 ERA, 228 K, 176 2/3 IPFried (age 25): 17-6, 4.02 ERA, 173 K, 165 2/3 IP
Flaherty finished fourth in National League Cy Young voting after a second half for the ages. His 0.91 ERA post-All-Star break was the second-best ever for a qualified starter (behind Jake Arrieta's 0.75 in 2015).
Giolito went from having the worst ERA of any qualified starter in 2018 (6.13) to ranking among the American League leaders in '19 -- he finished fifth in the AL ERA race and sixth in the AL Cy Young vote.
And Fried showed in his first full season that he has the potential of a future ace, emerging as a key young starter in a playoff-bound Braves rotation alongside Mike Soroka. Not to mention that he has one of the prettiest curveballs this side of Clayton Kershaw. (David Adler - June 4, 2020)
Lucas is ready to become the Chisox staff's ace in 2020. “The way I look at it, being the ace of the staff, you are setting an example not just with what you are doing on the field, but also taking a more vocal role, which I feel like I’m trying to continue to get the feel for that,” Giolito said. “That’s pretty much what I want.
“I want to be that leader of the pitching staff, taking the ball in the first game, kind of setting the tone. But at the same time, I want to maintain that thought that I’m not the only ace on the team. I’ve got four more right behind me.” (Merkin - mlb.com - 7/8/2020)
Dec 1, 2020: Lucas Giolito joined new White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz during a Zoom call to discuss Tony La Russa’s first staff for his second managerial tenure on the South Side of Chicago.
This Zoom pairing was not by coincidence. Giolito, who turns 27 this July, has known Katz since he was 15 and Katz was coaching Giolito at Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles.
When it became apparent the White Sox needed a pitching coach, Giolito spoke to the team’s front office and Katz about what to expect on what he hoped would be the ultimate connection.
“At the end of the day, I just wanted to be completely honest on both ends,” Giolito said. “Letting the people know in the front office who make those decisions what I think Ethan brings to the table, and that was about it. Once Ethan was able to get in the door and have an interview, he took it from there.
“Then on the other side, even before Ethan got the job, I was pretty much expecting him to do well and kind of lock it up just because I know how good he is at his job. I was letting him know, ‘Hey this guy on the team and this guy on the team, he’ll be able to benefit from what you bring to the table in this area. This guy will benefit from maybe something you showed me a couple of years ago.’ I’m just excited for us to get working now.”
Katz, 37, becomes a Major League pitching coach for the first time after serving as the assistant pitching coach with the San Francisco Giants in 2020. He joined the Giants' organization prior to the '19 season as the assistant pitching coordinator and has coached every level of Minor League Baseball but Triple-A between previous stops with the Angels and Mariners.
There already have been talks between Katz and some of the White Sox hurlers, including young pitchers such as Michael Kopech, Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease. Katz helped Giolito totally turn things around in the offseason following a dismal 2018 campaign, and he now hopes to maximize the strengths of this talented crew.
“We’ve got some stuff brewing,” Katz said. “I’m thrilled. This is a dream come true to be able to get an opportunity to be a big league pitching coach. Obviously, with our background, it’s even more exciting to be reconnected again [with Giolito].” (S Merkin - MLB.com - Dec 1, 2020)
June 2012: The Nationals chose Lucas in the first round, out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, CA.
Dec 7. 2016: The White Sox traded RF Adam Eaton to the Nationals for Giolito, RHP Reynaldo Lopez, and RHP Dane Dunning.