2016 Draft Profile: T.J. Zeuch

School: University of Pittsburgh; Class: Junior

Position: RHP; B/T: R/R

Height: 6-7; Weight: 225

Previously Drafted: Kansas City Royals, 31st round, 2013

 

Background: Likely one of the best pitcher’s you didn’t hear about in 2015. Zeuch, a colossal 6-foot-7, 225-pound right-hander out of the University of Pittsburgh, was a dominant force as a sophomore, posting a 90-to-25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 88.1 innings of work. And he carried that dominance over into the Cape Cod Summer League as well.

Starring for the Chatham Angels – I just love that team name – Zeuch allowed just three earned runs in 20.2 innings of work, fanning 17 and walking just five.

And, of course, he was just as dominant in his junior season in 2016: 69.2 innings, 74 punch outs, 19 walks, and a 3.10 ERA.

For his career, the massive right-hander is sporting a 205-to-61 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 214 innings.

 

Projection: Easily one of my favorite collegiate arms in the entire class, Zeuch still has some projection left given (A) his size and (B) the fact that he’s a northeastern arm. Zeuch does the one thing that many large-framed, power-armed hurlers struggle with: limiting walks. He’s averaged just a smidge over 2.5 walks per nine innings in his career.

And how’s this for impressive company: Between 2011 and 2015, there have been 31 right-handed pitchers at the D1 level who has thrown at least 65 innings while averaging 9.5 K/9, and less than 2.5 BB/9. The majority of the list reads like a list of who’s who of top MiLB/MLB arms: Trevor Bauer, Mark Appel, Taylor Clarke, Kevin Gausman, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Jon Gray, Pierce Johnson, Kyle McGowin, Aaron Nola, Jake Stinnett, Marcus Stroman, Nick Tropeano, Luke Weaver, and Kyle Zimmer.

Add Zeuch to that list.

The big right-hander has legitimate front-of-the-rotation caliber potential. And he’s poised to be one of the biggest surprises in 2017.

 

Ceiling: 3.0- to 3.5-win player

Floor:  1.5-win player

Risk: Moderate

Grade: First Round

 



About

After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.