The Washington Times - May 1, 2013, 02:19PM

ATLANTA — Washington Nationals prospect Lucas Giolito threw off a mound this week for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

The Nationals’ first-round pick in the 2012 draft, Giolito threw 30 fastballs from the mound, according to general manager Mike Rizzo, who gave the update on Giolito’s status on his weekly radio show on the team’s flagship station Wednesday morning.


Rizzo later added to The Washington Times that Giolito has thrown off the mound twice, throwing 20 fastballs the first time and 30 the second time.

Giolito, the hard-throwing 18-year-old the Nationals drafted out of Harvard-Westlake High School in California, is about as highly touted as they come and the Nationals will monitor his recovery from Aug. 31 surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament closely.

The Nationals knew when they drafted him last June that Tommy John surgery was a likely possibility, but they also feel he’s destined for great things and he was worth their No. 1 pick.

As he’s gone through the early stages of his rehab the Nationals have been impressed with his progress as well as his work ethic toward the process.

Here’s Baseball America’s scouting report on Giolito from this past offseason:

“Giolito’s combination of elite stuff, size and polish gave him a chance to be the first high school righthander ever drafted No. 1 overall. But he sprained his ulnar collateral ligament in early March, ending his season and clouding his draft stock. The son of Hollywood actors Lindsay Frost and Rick Giolito, he made it clear a hefty bonus would be required to lure him away from a UCLA commitment.

“After drafting him 16th overall, the Nationals exceeded his assigned pick value by $800,000 and signed him for $2,925,000. He appeared in one game before having Tommy John surgery on Aug. 31.

“When healthy, Giolito works from 92-100 mph with his fastball, sitting comfortably at 94-96. He complements it with a plus-plus 82-86 mph curveball with depth and bite. He even flashes an above-average 82-84 mph changeup, giving him a third swing-and-miss pitch. He has an easy delivery, an advanced feel for pitching, a tenacious mound presence and a tireless work ethic. Giolito has true No. 1 starter upside, and his makeup and command give him a solid chance to reach that ceiling. The Nationals successfully nursed Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann back from Tommy John surgery, and should be able to do the same with Giolito, though he might not pitch in 2013.”

– Rizzo also said left-hander Sammy Solis, who is now more than a year out form his own Tommy John surgery, threw a few simulated innings, as did left-hander Matt Purke, who is rehabbing from Aug. 2012 shoulder surgery. Both pitchers are coming along well, Rizzo said.