Here is a closer look at right-handed pitcher J.T. Ginn, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick, selected 30th overall.
What he’s good at right now: Ginn has elite arm strength, reportedly touching triple digits while also showing plus riding life. He will also flash a hard downer breaking ball that looks like a spike curve.
What he can be good at in the future: Ginn is not as projectable as his peers and is old for his class, so there’s not much physical development left. That said, he can refine his change-up into a third plus pitch.
What does he need to work on: More than anything, Ginn needs to prove stamina, both in holding his stuff through 70-80 pitch outings and repeating the performance every fifth day. His command could also improve, but given the electricity of his stuff, he only needs to be average in this department. Ginn’s mechanics are also fairly aggressive and could be smoothed out.
Carry tool: The fastball, it could be elite. The ball just explodes on hitters and with better command, he could really play with the riding life in and out of the zone. Whether he ends up in the pen or sticks in the rotation, it will be his big league meal ticket.
Biggest weakness: Ginn can’t control the fact that he is on the small side, but questions abound as to whether he can hold up over five-plus innings and 150-plus innings, even at his peak. That said, pitching roles are in a state of evolution, and Ginn can find a role top weaponize his arm strength. Failing that, command would be the only other notable shortcoming.
ETA: He could move quickly if he is developed as a reliever, but Los Angeles has the luxury of a deep system and stellar big league staff to play it slow. Developing stamina won’t happen overnight and his outings will likely be handled with kid gloves for at least a year. 2021 would be best case, 2022 feels more likely.
Realistic best case scenario: An elite strikeout arm that will not rack up innings but will be a weapon conserved for the playoffs. Think Lance McCullers. OR, he becomes an elite closer in the mold of Craig Kimbrel.
Wrap: The Dodgers left some considerable talent on the board, namely Shane McClanahan, to take a player that they’ve long been linked to and brings equal parts high risk (undersized, older, right handed prep) and high reward (100-mph fastball, power breaking ball, athleticism). I’m intrigued as to how they plan to develop him, as I could see him being bred specifically for a multi inning relief role if they ever wanted to attempt it out of the gate with a player. More likely, they probably see some Walker Buehler in Ginn’s smaller build, but athletically quirking delivery and elite stuff. The difference being that Buehler proved his ability to hold his stuff over long stretches in his sophomore year in college, where Ginn is still an unknown in that regard. Even if Ginn ultimately settles in as a one inning reliever, the stuff is good enough for him to pitch at the back end of the pen. The Dodgers don’t have another pick until #68, so Ginn’s high risk factor is a bit of a surprise given that the Dodgers won’t have enough early selections to diversify the class. Still, he was my 20th ranked player and on talent, was good value at the end of round one.