Former Pitt baseball standout T.J. Zeuch is steadily moving up the ranks as a professional baseball player. And now in AA, Zeuch is improving as he makes the climb to the majors.
Zeuch had his ups and downs in his first two professional seasons after being taken in the first-round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016. As a rookie that year, he was 0-2 in nine starts with a 4.50 ERA and last year, he was 3-6 with a 3.56 ERA. This season, Zeuch was promoted to AA and is having his best year as a pro. In 11 starts with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Zeuch has flipped that record around and is 6-3 on the season. His ERA has continued to drop as well, now down to 3.00.
Zeuch actually got off to a slow start in AA but has been lights out lately. In three of his last four starts, he did not give up a single earned run. In the four starts before that, he gave up no more than two earned runs in each outing and he went more than six innings each time out. Zeuch was roughed up a bit two starts ago, giving up seven runs, lasting only 3 2⁄3 innings, but the overall trend is sharply pointed upward as he’s given the team seven quality starts in his last eight games. As a result, he’s seen his ERA that was a whopping 5.74 fall to the aforementioned 3.00.
Now, Zeuch is striking out fewer batters these days. The 63 whiffs he has in 105 1⁄3 innings pitched this year aren’t overly impressive. His strikeout rate was significantly higher in his first two seasons so that will be a cause for alarm to some. But the overall results he’s having are an improvement and, at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.
Zeuch is set to make his next start later today against Reading.
Be sure to join Cardiac Hill’s Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.