The A’s opened the post-lockout frenzy by kicking off their complete rebuild by trading 2021 All-Star starting pitcher Chris Bassitt for a pair of prospects – right-handers J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller.
Ginn is No. 202 on our RotoProspects Top 500 Rankings and goes from the Mets’ No. 6 prospect to No. 4 on the A’s list after Oakland’s blockbuster trade of Matt Olson netted four more prospects. If the A’s trade any of Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas, Ginn may get pushed down Oakland’s list.
The 27-year-old Oller isn’t in our top 500, but he should spend some time in Oakland this summer, which could give him some value if he gets in the starting rotation.
As for Ginn, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder was drafted in the first round by the Dodgers in 2018, but chose to go to Mississippi State instead. After starring as a freshman, he missed the pandemic season after having Tommy John surgery. Ginn wound up getting late first-round money when the Mets took him in the second round in 2020 as a draft-eligible sophomore and signed him for $2.9 million.
Where Ginn excels most is with plus control, a 60-grade slider and a boring fastball that helped generate groundballs at a 62% rate. His velocity was ticking up down the stretch in 2021, so if he can get his fastball back to the mid-90s he has a good chance to become a very useful starting pitcher for fantasy.
Ginn, who turns 23 on May 20, should start the year in Double-A after combining for 3.03 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and an 81-22 K-BB ratio between Low- and High-A.
Moving from one pitcher’s park to another doesn’t change his outlook, although there may not be much standing in the way of an MLB rotation spot by as early as the end of 2022 as Oakland continues its teardown. Considering the A’s may want to delay the arrival of their next wave of prospects until 2023, expect to see Ginn in Oakland sometime next summer.
Considering how good Bassitt, Manaea and Montas have been the past couple years, fantasy owners should keep an eye on Ginn’s development this season. If his stuff takes another step forward in his second season removed from TJ, Ginn could settle into the middle of the A’s rotation and be a help as a low-WHIP, solid-ERA innings eater.