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Dodgers' top '18 pick chooses college over pros

Ginn, who went 30th overall, will attend Mississippi State University
MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

J.T. Ginn, the Dodgers' first-round selection (30th overall) in last month's MLB Draft, posted a message on Twitter on Thursday indicating he has decided not to sign with Los Angeles and instead will pursue collegiate baseball at Mississippi State University. The slot value of the 30th overall pick is $2,275,800.

J.T. Ginn, the Dodgers' first-round selection (30th overall) in last month's MLB Draft, posted a message on Twitter on Thursday indicating he has decided not to sign with Los Angeles and instead will pursue collegiate baseball at Mississippi State University. The slot value of the 30th overall pick is $2,275,800.

Tweet from @JT_Ginn3: 🐶🔥������ @HailStateBB #HAILSTATE #OMADAWGS pic.twitter.com/dcqKAvs0l9

Ginn, a 19-year-old right-handed pitcher out of Brandon (Miss.) High School, will be Draft-eligible as a 21-year-old sophomore at Mississippi State in 2020. He becomes the fifth first-round selection in the bonus-pool era (since 2012) to choose college over a professional contract, joining college pitchers Mark Appel (No. 8 overall selection by the Pirates in 2012) and Kyle Funkhouser (No. 35 overall by the Dodgers in 2015) -- who gambled that bigger paydays would come in their next Drafts. Phil Bickford (No. 10 by the Blue Jays in 2013) and Brady Aiken (No. 1 by the Astros in 2014) were not signed because the teams that selected them had issues with their post-Draft physicals.

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With Ginn not signing, the Dodgers receive an equivalent selection in next year's Draft, one slot later, though the bonus allotment for the 30th selection in this year's Draft is forfeited.

The Dodgers have baseball's lowest bonus pool ($5,288,200), so Ginn declining to sign could help them finalize a deal with second-rounder Michael Grove (right-handed pitcher out of West Virginia), who is expected to get roughly $300,000 above his $917,000 pick value. The deadline for signing picks from this year's Draft is Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.