Dodgers Fail to Sign 2018 First-Round Pick J.T. Ginn, May Lose Next Year’s As Well

The Los Angeles Dodgers shocked the world by selecting high school right-hander J.T. Ginn with their first selection in this year’s draft.

The 19-year-old was the first prep pitcher drafted by the Dodgers in the first round since Grant Holmes in 2014 and the first ever drafted by scouting director Billy Gasparino in the first round.

However, one day before the signing deadline, Ginn posted the following message on his Twitter account:

Now, this could be Ginn angling for a larger bonus, but with the deadline fast approaching, it appears that the Dodgers are about to lose their first-round pick to Mississippi State University. The failure would have multiple impacts on the class as a whole.

The first would obviously be impacting the overall talent level of the class. Ginn, by some accounts, was one of the top pitching prospects in the draft and had some of the best pure stuff of any pitcher available. Missing out on a talent like that obviously hurts the Dodgers.

Secondly, the Dodgers are now left with a draft class headed by a pitcher who missed his last collegiate season due to Tommy John surgery. While that’s not a death knell, it’s also not guaranteed that second rounder Michael Grove turns into another Walker Buehler. Fourth-rounder Braydon Fisher also shows promise, but he’s only 17 and likely at least four years away from even sniffing the major leagues.

And last, but certainly not least, is the impact that failing to sign Ginn has on the team’s bonus pool. The Dodgers already had the lowest amount of money to spend in the draft, with a total of $5,288,200 available. When a team fails to sign a prospect they selected within the first 10 rounds, they lose the slot value assigned to that player, meaning the Dodgers will lose the $2,275,800 that came with the 30th overall pick.

This could have ramifications on the Dodgers’ draft next year. Teams are allowed to go up to five percent over their bonus pool without losing a pick. However, if they reach that threshold (which no team has ever done), they would lose their first-round pick in 2019.

According to my podcast partner Dustin Nosler’s projections, the Dodgers are currently over that five percent mark, which would be disastrous for their next draft class. Even though they’d receive a compensatory pick next year, likely the 31st overall pick, which is just one after the 30th that they used on Ginn, losing their first pick would be another huge blow.

Unless some of the publicly available bonuses are incorrect or the Dodgers have come up with more accounting tomfoolery, losing Ginn AND going more than five percent over their pool would be an absolute disaster. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but this could end up being a day that lives in infamy.

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