Pitchers Jack Flaherty, Max Fried and Lucas Giolito were each first-round draft picks out of Studio City Harvard-Westlake. They were even teammates in 2012. Now all three are finishing up their baseball seasons as top starters in the major leagues. It’s been quite a year.
Flaherty of the St. Louis Cardinals and Fried of the Atlanta Braves have been among the best pitchers in the National League in the second half of the season. Flaherty is 10-8 with a 2.96 ERA. Fried is 17-6 with a 4.11 ERA. Giolito finished his season with the Chicago White Sox going 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA. Fried and Giolito have both overcome Tommy John surgery to return to top form.
“They’re all pitching really well,” former Harvard-Westlake coach Matt LaCour said. “They were all on different tracks to this point.”
LaCour said he gets asked the question: “How could you not win a championship in 2012 with three future first-round draft picks?”
Well, the answer is pretty simple — injury. Giolito went down with an elbow injury at the outset of the season. Flaherty was only a sophomore just beginning to develop. Fried was the standout who won a first-round playoff game. The Wolverines lost to Placentia Valencia in the second round 3-1.
“In Southern Section Division 1 baseball, everyone loses,” LaCour said.
Fried was chosen as the No. 7 pick by the Padres in 2012. Giolito went No. 14 to the Nationals. Flaherty pitched Harvard-Westlake to the Division 1 title as a junior and was chosen No. 34 by the Cardinals in 2014. Together, they are showing what could have been in 2012.
“It’s nice to see them all fulfilling their potential,” LaCour said.
Flaherty has probably made the biggest leap. There were people not impressed by his velocity back in his high school days. LaCour said a radar gun clocked him last week throwing 99 mph on his 111th pitch with the Cardinals.
“People claim they know what players are going to be. That’s not true,” LaCour said.