Pitt ace T.J. Zeuch was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft on Thursday night by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 21st overall pick. Afterwards, both the pitcher and head coach Joe Jordano issued statements via the official Pitt press release:
“Today we are all very proud of T.J. being drafted in the first round by the Blue Jays, said head coach Joe Jordano. “He certainly earned this lofty position and has worked very hard for this day to become a reality. There is no question, T.J. looks at this day as a new start, a new beginning on his journey to the big leagues. I cannot be happier for him and look forward to watching his progress with great admiration.”
“This has been my dream since I was five years old,” said Zeuch. “I can remember first picking up a ball and using my whole hand to throw it and my dad showing me how to hold a proper two-seam fastball. At that moment, I knew I wanted to play baseball for the rest of my life. Now the dream to put on a professional uniform is coming true.”
Zeuch was 6-1 on the season with a 3.10 ERA and a strikeout rate of better than one per inning. He became the Panthers' highest draft pick of all time as he was taken three spots earlier than the only other first round pick in the history of the program, Al Lachowicz, who was selected No. 24 by the Texas Rangers back in 1981.
The junior out of Mason, Ohio was a three-year starter for Pitt's baseball team and finishes his career with a 12-13 record, 3.33 ERA with 205 strikeouts and 61 walks in 213 2/3 innings pitched. Zeuch was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 31st round out of high school, but chose to enter college.