There are a myriad of reasons why MLB amateur draft is considered a crapshoot. Whether it be fit with the organization, injuries, or the maturity of a young player; it’s incredibly hard after being drafted to make it to the highest level. And then, at the top of that list is the ability to sign the player chosen.
The Dodgers selected right-handed pitcher J.T. Ginn a month ago in the first round out of Brandon High School in Mississippi. In spite of this, Ginn elected today to attend Mississippi State rather than sign with the Dodgers.
J.T. Ginn, the young man chosen by the Dodgers in the first round of last month's draft, announced he would not sign and will attend Mississippi State.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) July 6, 2018
Here is what Ginn had to say about his decision:
After being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round, I had a lot to think about over the last month. My ultimate goal is to one day play in the Major Leagues, and the draft provided one path to that goal. College baseball offered another path. I am grateful for both opportunities, and after giving it a lot of thought I have decided to pursue my lifelong dream of playing college baseball for the Mississippi State Bulldogs!!! #HAILSTATE #OMADAWGS
Further, Ginn probably believes after a year or two of seasoning in college; he could become a top-five or top-ten pick. Still, it’s a roll of the dice when a young player passes up first-round signing bonus money to play college baseball. There is no guarantee that the player will continue on an upward trajectory. In the case of a pitcher, there is added health risk.
Still, it’s easy to understand why a young man would choose the luxurious experience of playing SEC baseball over riding a small bus from one town to another.
We will continue to monitor Ginn’s status as he develops as a pro prospect. Perhaps he will become known as the one who got away.
We want to wish Ginn the best in his future endeavors. It’s disheartening that the Dodgers were not able to add their first-round selection to the farm system. Nevertheless, it’s not all that uncommon.
With the Dodgers not occupying several million dollars of their draft signing pool money on Ginn, they can afford to offer each pick a little bit over the recommended slot amount. The ripple effect should improve the signing rate of picks every round following. If things line up as both Ginn and the Dodgers hope – it’s unlikely they will come together in any type of marriage again. Ginn returns to school in hopes of being selected higher, and the Dodgers are not likely to be selecting in the top ten anytime in the near future based on their bright future. Still, anything can happen. File away the name in your memory bank and remember what was once almost ours, J.T. Ginn.
[button color=”blue” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”http://dodgersnation.com/guest-mlb-columnist-bob-nightengale-episode-8-blue-heaven-podcast-cp1085/2018/07/04/”]Blue Heaven Podcast: Bob Nightengale[/button]