On Sunday morning, 21-year old Lucas Giolito threw his first bullpen session in his first big-league camp. He's the Washington Nationals' top prospect, and the number five prospect in all of baseball. He stands 6-foot-6, weighs 255 pounds, and if things go well, he might make it to the show this year. But you probably knew all that. Here's some stuff you might not know about the Nats' next big thing.
Favorite movie: "'Saving Private Ryan.' I've seen it like five or six times. That first scene where they're storming the beach in Normandy is my favorite. The reason I like the movie so much is that my dad, who used to be an executive producer at EA, made 'Medal of Honor,' which is loosely based on Private Ryan. So I played the game, and when I saw the movie I was like, oh, that's what it's all about."
Favorite musician: "Right now it's probably Kendrick Lamar. I saw him live a couple years ago when he opened for Kanye West at Staples Center. He's an amazing performer. I had good seats, but not so good that he was spitting on me. 'Money Trees' is my favorite track."
Earliest memory: "We were living in northern California when I was like 4 or 5 years old. My dad was working out there, and I was playing near the pool that we had in our backyard. I splashed water right into a bush and it pissed off a beehive, and I got like 20 bee stings. It was traumatic. I got wrecked. It's a terrible memory. Amazingly, I'm not afraid of bees."
Guilty pleasure: "My computer games. Specifically, a game called 'Rocket League.' It's an indie game that's essentially soccer with cars. I'm a big soccer fan, and I like driving games, so it kind of mixes both. My cousin's an IT guy, and he helped me build a custom gaming PC at my house. Then I have a gaming laptop that I brought with me on the road."
Biggest obstacle: "Easily having Tommy John surgery at 18 years old. Hurting my arm in the second game of my senior year with everything surrounding what was going to happen with me in the draft ... that was really hard. Guys were throwing around the possibility of me being drafted first overall. I was like, bring it on, I want to pitch as well as I can. And then I hurt my arm and couldn't the pitch rest of year. I didn't know if I was going to college, didn't know if anyone would be taking me in the first round, second round, third round, I had no idea. I was like the guinea pig for prep pitchers with injuries getting picked. So I'm really appreciative of the Nationals for doing that."
Most embarrassing moment: "Last year in Harrisburg, it was my last start of the year. There were runners on second and third and one out. I struck out two guys to get out of the inning. Or so I thought. I'm hyped, walking into the dugout. I literally get all the way to the first base chalk before the guys in the dugout are like, 'Hey you have one more out to get.' There were only two outs. It totally took me out of the moment. So the next at bat, I fall behind and give up a single that scored both runs. We won the game, but I didn't pitch very well."
Hidden talent: "I played French horn in middle school and high school for like six years. I was a pretty decent musician. My family's actually really artistic. My mom's an actress, and my Uncle Mark is like a very famous author and screenwriter. He created 'Twin Peaks' with David Lynch. He's written a bunch of movies and novels. I'm the first of my entire family to play high school baseball."
Nickname: "Gio. All my friends and teammates have always called me that. But we're gonna have to find a new one because Gio's already taken in this clubhouse. I'll be outside warming up and I'll hear Gio and turn my head, but they're talking to Gio Gonzalez."
Coolest contact: "Samuel L. Jackson by far. Not even close. My dad used to play golf with him on Sunday mornings. They were members of the same country club for a period of time. I managed to get his phone number just to have it and show my friends. Actually, I kind of stole it. But I've never called it or done anything with it. He's probably changed his numbers a hundred times since then. I love 'Pulp Fiction.' It'd be so cool to have him record my voicemail message."