New York Mets Second Round Pick: J.T. Ginn

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The second and final day of the modified MLB Draft concluded on Thursday. The New York Mets had a theme for each of their picks, according to Brodie Van Wagenen. They wanted “high-end, impact talent” to bolster their farm system. The Mets started their day by drafting right-handed pitcher, J.T. Ginn, out of Mississippi State University.

Ginn is a high risk, high reward prospect. He was a first-round talent who dropped down after getting Tommy John Surgery in March. As a past first-rounder, Ginn will be a tough sign, much like Matthew Allan was in the previous draft. Both underwent the same surgery, and their draft stock fell because of it.

High-Level Arm

Despite the risks in agreeing to a deal, Ginn is another pitcher who could potentially be a steal. There were concerns about his ability to start and stay healthy out of high school. A 3.13 ERA, 105 strikeouts in 17 starts during his freshman year quelled those worries. Ginn only walked 19 batters and allowed one home run over 86.1 innings pitched. The decision to calm down his delivery helped him pitch dominantly as a freshman.

Ginn throws at a high, three-quarters arm slot with a fastball sitting in the mid-90s but can get into the upper 90s. Nothing he throws is straight, including his fastball, which has sink and allowed him to limit the home runs. He also features a slider and changeup. The slider is regarded as Ginn’s strikeout pitch and is advanced for his age. It sits in the mid-80s with movement similar to Noah Syndergaard’s but expects it to gain some speed as he perfects it in the minors.

His changeup does not possess the same praise but has an inconsistency to throw it as well as his slider. Ginn will need it to separate himself from the average pitcher, but the potential for it to complement the rest of his arsenal is in the works.

When Will We See Ginn?

Should Ginn sign the deal, he will not be able to pitch until 2021 as he recovers from surgery. Given his advanced repertoire and control, he could be up as soon as 2023, should everything fall into place. It puts him on track to arrive as Allan. It draws similarities to the years Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Matt Harvey were all healthy and pitching great in 2015.

The projections on Ginn vary from potential ace to a dominant reliever. Ginn’s reliever projections have mostly faded away, but the consensus right now has him at a two/three, at worst four, starter in the rotation. His starter rank will have a lot to do with his velocity post-surgery and his ability to turn his changeup into an effective strikeout pitch. The Mets will have him on a strict innings limit throughout his minor league career as all five of their starters from last season underwent Tommy John at some point during their career.

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