Dodgers Select Pitcher J.T. Ginn with 30th Pick of 2018 MLB Draft

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The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night selected right-handed pitcher J.T. Ginn with their first pick (30th overall) in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Brandon High School in Mississippi.

This season, Ginn appeared in eight games (seven starts), going 5-1 with a 0.36 ERA (2 ER/39.1 IP) and striking out 78 batters against just nine walks, while holding the opposition to a .073 average. In seven starts, he fired three complete games and two shutouts including a no-hitter. Ginn, who was also a shortstop, batted .419 (31-for-74) with six doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 27 RBI for Brandon High School this year. Following the 2018 campaign, he was voted the Gatorade Player of the Year out of Mississippi.

“We were very excited to be able to select J.T.,” said Dodger Director, Amateur Scouting Billy Gasparino. “He is a pitcher that we identified last summer and is an extremely athletic right-hander with plus life to his fastball, has a plus slider and a developing changeup. We think he has all the ingredients to be a front-line starter and we are super excited about the progress he made this spring. Hopefully he can continue that with the Dodger organization.”

In his last three years of high school, the 6-2, 200-pound right-handed pitcher combined for a 15-2 record with a 1.02 ERA (16 ER/110.0 IP) and threw three complete games. The 19-year-old also batted .415 (112-for-270) with 28 home runs, 22 doubles, three triples and 120 RBI in four seasons for the Bulldogs and finished second nationally among high school players with 16 home runs in 2017.

This marks the first time the Dodgers have selected a pitcher with their first overall pick since 2015, when they selected right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler out of Vanderbilt University (24th overall). Los Angeles has drafted a pitcher with their first overall selection of the draft in seven of the last 10 picks.

Ginn was scouted by Dodger area scout Benny Latino.

(Lauren Douglas provided the information furnished in this report)

26 thoughts on “Dodgers Select Pitcher J.T. Ginn with 30th Pick of 2018 MLB Draft

  1. Dennis, did you like the pick? Did it surprise you? Who did you think/want them to pick with their first pick? What about you Jeff, do follow the draft closely? I usually don’t start paying to much attention until after the draft.

    1. I usually glance at the last mocks right before draft day and then hope I’ll recognize a name when they start picking. Looks like we’ll have to rely on Dennis and Manuel’s expertise for our in-house analysis. Based on Manuel’s thorough feedback and the other stuff I’ve read since last night, I have pretty high hopes for the two guys we picked. Of course we have to sign them first. Some people thought Grove might sign for under slot because of the TJ so that might have figured into the FO strategy. We have the lowest draft pool $ in MLB this year so every dollar saved is a help.

  2. Definitely cool with this pick because I had a strong feeling Ginn was on the Dodgers’ draft board anyway, but had him going to in the 2nd round instead of the 1st. I was actually praying for either Jordan Groshans or Noah Naylor to fall to them at No. 30 because they both have considerable upside in terms of offensive potential and defensive versatility, but it wasn’t to be. That said, there’s still much to like about Ginn as he possesses arguably the best power fastball/slider combination in this year’s draft class. Dodgers probably could’ve gotten a similar package in college reliever Durbin Feltman instead and fast-tracked him right to the bigs as a another weapon in that deeply battle-tested bullpen, but Ginn has the distinct advantage of a much-improved delivery as well as an already solid changeup which could make him an intriguing future rotation option if he continues to refine that pitch even further over the next couple years down on the farm.

    Also of note is the college pitcher the Dodgers took with their 2nd round pick, Michael Grove of West Virginia. Like Walker Buehler and Mitchell White before him, he’s yet another TJ survivor who was flashing premium stuff prior to the injury which he sustained around the same time last year. Possesses very good command of a plus fastball in the mid-90s as well as a sharp breaking ball when healthy from what I could gather on him. Was also 4 outs away from throwing a perfect game last April before it got broken up by a single back through the box and had to settle for going 8 scoreless as a result. In the same game, he also struck out 12 for good measure. Most impressive, college level or otherwise. If Grove fully recovers from his TJ rehab later this year flashing the same quality stuff or even slightly better, he could end up being another straight-up steal for this savvy front office geek squad…

  3. I didn’t know who either one of these guys were before the draft. From what I’m reading looks like the front office is looking to do some long term restocking of the farm system. With the age and the injury, Grove,and Ginn, are definitely long term investments. Glad to hear you seem excited about these guys Manuel, the draft is definitely not my strong point, I usually wait til it’s over, then start reading up on our guys.

    1. Kinda hard not to get excited about these young pitchers the Dodgers took with their first two draft picks. For all we know, Ginn could turn out to be the next David Cone in due time if he reaches his absolute ceiling (NOT joking here, btw) and Grove another Scherzer-type arm or at the very least an electric high-leverage bullpen option depending on his durability level. And don’t sweat the draft, buddy. At the end of the day, it’s still a crapshoot and always will be. Otherwise, a future HoF player like Albert Pujols would’ve been the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft rather than a criminally-overlooked JUCO talent who was eventually selected in the 13th round…

  4. Does anybody have any idea how we’re going to clear a forty man roster spot for Ferguson? Who might get designated?

      1. Don’t they need to take someone off the 40 man? If so, optioning Stewart or Yimi won’t do it.
        Just a guess here but I would say the following guys are the most likely to be the one who goes (most likely guy first):
        PJ Conlon, Rob Segedin, Daniel Hudson, Pat Venditte, Ariel Hernandez, Chase Utley. Let’s see if I even managed to put the guy who draws the short straw on my list. Or am I totally off base in thinking that Ferguson isn’t on the 40 man yet?

      2. That was my error. I’m traveling, but I’ll take a look at the 40-man when I get a break. That may actually be the premise for a good story tomorrow morning.

      3. My guess is they option Stewart and bump out Hernandez. In the minors this year, Hernandez has given up 17 hits, 10 walks and seven earned runs over 23-1/3 innings. Maybe if he went unclaimed, they could take a flyer on him again. he’s 26-years-old and made a handful of appearances with the Reds last year to the tune of a 5.19 ERA.

      4. Hah! I knew they needed to push someone off the 40 man but totally forgot that the 25 man is full. Of course Stewart will be optioned. He’s going for the world’s record. I’ve always been a big Segedin fan but I’m thinking they may have run out of patience with him. He’s having a pretty awful year at OKC and I’m thinking Farmer has overtaken him as a right-handed hitter off the bench. Segedin would be better off getting a fresh start somewhere else. That said, none of Segedin, Conlon or Hernandez would surprise me.

      5. I’m guessing that if Schlossman was given that decision to make, Hudson would be the one. I put 6 guys on my list. I’m going to be really embarrassed if it’s someone I didn’t include. After all, I’m a know-it-all Dodger fan.

  5. Sounds like there are a couple sacrificial lambs that won’t kill us to lose, if a claim comes in on whoever we try to take of off the 40 man roster. That’s what was worrying me. Thanks.

  6. Looks like I got lucky. First guy on my list of potential guys to be lopped off the 40 man was Conlon. He was just dfa’d and claimed by the Mets.

    1. “Yes! We can definitely use that lefty Conlon,” said Farhan Zaidi, the general manager for the Dodgers. “No, he doesn’t really fit in with the direction of the organization,” explained Los Angeles boss Andrew Friedman just a few days later.

      1. So if given the choice, would you have dfa’d Hudson or optioned Pedro? Surprised to hear myself say this but I would have optioned Pedro. Maybe he can actually straighten himself out. Every time I think I’ve identified a right handed reliever in the minors who would be better than Hudson, he has a bad outing (Sborz, Broussard, Schlitter, Chargois). I’m assuming they send Ferguson back down tomorrow and bring up someone. I’m guessing Sborz.

      2. With the exception of Chargois are there any other candidates who are already on the 40 man?

  7. I meant any candidates to bring up not dfa. We’ve got plenty of dfa candidates. I think Hudson probably sealed his fate tonight. Another lousy performance. Stewart is doing his best imitation of Hudson this evening and seems to have totally lost whatever confidence he had in his ability. I blame that on the front office. Send him down, leave him there. Due to the mess the starters are in with injuries, the bullpen is being severely overtaxed. Even the guys who are performing well at this point will crash if they are overused to this extreme for any length of time.

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