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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Twenty

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What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, September 14th to September 19th?

J.T. Ginn
Steve Sypa

Drew Jackson

Week: 5 G, 19 AB, .357/.500/.714, 5 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, 5/5 SB (Triple-A)

2021 Season: 76 G, 215 AB, .270/.418/.451, 58 H, 11 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 49 BB, 68 K, 22/25 SB, .355 BABIP (Triple-A)

A Berkley, California native, Drew Jackson attended Miramonte High School in nearby Orinda, California, where he lettered in baseball three times, hitting .404 with 11 steals as a sophomore, .429 with 16 steals and four home runs as a junior, and .439 with 25 steals, 13 doubles and three home runs as a senior. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 37th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, the 1138th player selected overall, but he did not sign with them, instead electing to honor his commitment to Stanford.

His first two years as a collegiate player were underwhelming. In 2013, his freshman year, he hit .207/.337/.232, appearing in 41 games and starting 24 of them, splitting time between second base and shortstop. In 2014, his sophomore year, he appeared in 39 games, starting 35, and hit .167/.254/.213 due to a finger injury. Returning in 2015, Jackson broke out, appearing in 40 games and hitting .320/.396/.388. The Seattle Mariners selected Jackson in the fifth round of the 2015 MLB Draft, the 155th player selected overall, and signed him to a $335,400 signing bonus.

He was assigned to the Everett AquaSox, Seattle’s Short-A affiliate in the Northwest League, and eventually was named league MVP after hitting .358/.432/.447 in 59 games with two home runs, and 47 stolen bases. He was not able to replicate that success in 2016, and while he did not perform poorly, hitting .258/.332/.345 in 124 games with 6 home runs and 16 stolen bases, he clearly did not live up to the lofty expectations he set for himself. He would not be able to prove to the Mariners which Jackson was the real one, as Seattle traded him in March 2017 to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Aneurys Zabala in exchange for Chase De Jong. He spent the next few years working his way up through the Dodgers minor league system, playing for the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in 2017, and the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in 2018. The Philadelphia Phillies selected Jackson in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and then traded to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for international bonus slot money. Jackson made the 2019 Orioles opening day roster and received a handful of at-bats in the first few games of the season, but was designated for assignment after going hitless and returned to the Dodgers. They assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, where he spent the rest of the 2019 season. After missing the 2020 season due to the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19, he was selected by the Mets during the minor league portion of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, where he assigned to the Syracuse Mets for the entirety of the season.

J.T. Ginn

Week: 2 G (2 GS), 13.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 13 K (High-A)

2021 Season: 18 G (18 GS), 92.2 IP, 75 H, 34 R, 31 ER (3.03 ERA), 22 BB, 81 K, .281 BABIP (Low-A/High-A)

J.T. Ginn at no point earlier in the season seemed like he was having difficulty after being activated and starting the season in St. Lucie. Over eight starts, the right-hander posted a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings, allowing 26 hits, walking 10, and striking out 35. The same thing cannot be said about his time in Brooklyn. In his first five starts with the Cyclones, Ginn posted a 5.84 ERA in 24.2 innings, allowing 26 hits, walking 6, and striking out 22. He seemingly acclimated himself to High-A over his final five starts, posting a 1.26 ERA in 28.2 innings, allowing 23 hits, walking 6, and striking out 24.

Key to his strong finish to the 2021 season were groundballs. In his first five Brooklyn start, Ginn had a 61% ground ball rate, 39% fly ball rate, and 23% line drive rate. In his final five starts, he had a 68% ground ball rate, 32% fly ball rate, and 14% line drive rate. Ginn induced roughly 10% more ground balls in his last few Brooklyn starts, allowed roughly 10% fewer fly balls and line drives.

Prior to being drafted, when he was pitching for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the right-hander had a fastball that reportedly could touch as high as the upper-90s. At no point in 2021 did Ginn display a fastball as dynamic as that, generally sitting in the low-90s and topping out at 94 MPH, periodically touching as high as 95 MPH. While this may be a temporary result of his March 2020 Tommy John surgery, as is sometimes the case, it also may be a more permanent and realistic Ginn

While ground balls were always part of Ginn’s overall game, a fastball that does not have the same oomph it might have used to prior to Tommy John that has permanently settled into this current velocity band means that ground balls are even more important.

Players of the Week 2021

Week One (May 4-May 8): Francisco Alvarez/Tylor Megill

Week Two (May 9-May 15): Antoine Duplantis/Tylor Megill

Week Three (May 16-May 23): Francisco Alvarez/Franklin Parra

Week Four (May 24-May 30): Mason Williams/Franklyn Kilome

Week Five (June 1-June 6): Brett Baty/Alec Kisena

Week Six (June 8-June 13): Carlos Cortes/Josh Walker

Week Seven (June 15-June 20): Luke Ritter/ Justin Lasko

Week Eight (June 22-June 27): Mark Vientos/Oscar Rojas

Week Nine (June 29-July 4): Mark Vientos/David Griffin

Week Ten (July 6-July 11): Jaylen Palmer/J.T. Ginn

Week Eleven (July 13-July 18): Jaylen Palmer/Connor Grey

Week Twelve (July 20-July 25): Jose Peroza/Justin Lasko

Week Thirteen (July 27-August 1): Mark Vientos/Josh Walker

Week Fourteen (August 3-August 8): Jake Mangum/Adam Oller

Week Fifteen (August 10-August 15): Jake Mangum/Adam Oller

Week Sixteen (August 17-August 22): Jose Peroza/Cole Gordon

Week Seventeen (August 24-August 29): Luis Gonzalez/Cole Gordon

Week Eighteen (August 31-September 5): David Thompson/Oscar Rojas

Week Nineteen (September 7-September 12): Francisco Alvarez/Jerad Eickhoff