MESA, Ariz. -- J.T. Ginn is new to the A’s organization, but his talent has long been on the club’s radar.
Ginn, who was acquired alongside fellow right-handed pitcher Adam Oller from the Mets in exchange for Chris Bassitt on March 12, first caught the eye of A’s scouts in 2020. Back then, the righty from Mississippi State had established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the SEC. He posted a 3.13 ERA in 17 starts with 105 strikeouts across 86 1/3 innings as a freshman and capped that season with six scoreless innings against Louisville in the College World Series.
Ginn was considered a first-round talent heading into the 2020 MLB Draft, but his rising stock took a major hit. One start into his sophomore season, he came down with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
The drop in the Draft was not too drastic, though. Later that summer, the Mets took Ginn in the second round and signed him to a $2.9 million bonus, which is around the value usually given out for a mid-first rounder. Once he returned to the mound in 2021, the A’s sent scouts to a handful of his starts and noted that his stuff gained momentum throughout the course of the season.
“Similar to Chris Bassitt in that he’s a top-shelf competitor,” A’s assistant general manager Billy Owens said of Ginn. “Tremendous athlete. He’ll thrive the further he’s away from Tommy John.”
Ginn possesses a strong ability to keep the ball on the ground by utilizing a couple of pitches with good sinking action. His 61.6% groundball rate in 2021 ranked second-highest among all Minor League pitchers with at least 90 innings pitched, as he succeeded across two different levels of A-ball last season. In 18 games started for Single-A St. Lucie and High-A Brooklyn, he combined for a 3.03 ERA with 81 strikeouts across 92 innings.
The high expectations placed on Ginn in New York will now transfer to Oakland. He immediately becomes ranked No. 6 among the club's Top 30 prospects and is the club's top pitching prospect per MLB Pipeline above righty Gunnar Hoglund (No. 7), who was acquired from the Blue Jays in the Matt Chapman deal on Wednesday. Ginn's arsenal of pitches includes a fastball that sits 91-95 mph and can reach as high as 97 mph with a good amount of sink and life, as well as a mid-80s slider and changeup that has also shown promising signs of sink.
Now fully healthy again, Ginn, who turns 23 in May, appears primed for a quick ascent through the A’s system.