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T.J. Zeuch Rising Quickly in the Blue Jays System

Righty made it all the way to Lansing after being drafted 21st overall in June

T.J. Zeuch Rising Quickly in the Blue Jays System

September 6, 2016

T.J. Zeuch rising quickly through the Blue Jays system. (John Lott)

T.J. Zeuch rising quickly through the Blue Jays system. (John Lott)


Wasting little time on addressing their pitching need in this past June’s MLB draft; the Toronto Blue Jays selected right-handed pitcher T.J. Zeuch out of the University of Pittsburgh with their 21st overall pick.

Pitching at three different levels since turning pro, Zeuch has appeared in games for the GCL Blue Jays, Vancouver Canadians, and the Lansing Lugnuts respectably in 2016. In his 34 innings pitched; the righty has maintained an impressive 1.12 WHIP, and his excellent command yielded him a 5.43 SO/W ratio.

His great numbers come from his ability to get ahead in counts early with his fastball. Known for being especially tough on right-handed batters, Zeuch discusses what he likes about his mid-90’s heater and what he hopes he can achieve with the pitch moving forward.

“I can use my fastball to my advantage when I’m able to pitch inside,” explained Zeuch. “It really helps me get ahead in counts against righties. Now I would like to be able to do that against lefties as well.”

When his fastball command is on, Zeuch can easily mix in his 12-6 curveball, slider, and changeup to keep hitters off-balance. With above-average feel with his curveball that has nice break to it, as well as with his high-80’s slider. The righty can easily make up for the fact that his changeup is still developing.

“My 12-6 curveball helps a lot in terms of keeping hitters timing off,” stated Zeuch. “I think a lot of guys throw sliders so it’s not every day you see a guy throw a 12-6 curveball. There’s a big speed difference between my curveball and fastball so it messes with hitters timing a lot.”

“My slider does a nice job at disrupting timing so hitters can’t just sit on my fastball and curveball,” Zeuch added. “Also having a slider makes it that much harder to guess what’s coming next.”

With a major emphasis on the changeup in professional baseball, there’s no surprise that the Blue Jays coaching staff has already worked with Zeuch at sharpening his feel for the changeup for more success in upcoming seasons.

“My changeup is coming along great,” said Zeuch. “It still has a ways to go, but it’s getting there. Sal Fasano and some of the other roving coaches has helped me with the pitch and it’s getting better every day.”

Improving his changeup will be a major focal point during the Blue Jays Instructional League this fall. Added to the roster in August, Zeuch is looking forward to the extra month of coaching before returning home to Ohio where he’ll condition himself more for next season.

“I’ll be attending the Instructional League for a month before jumping into my off-season routine,” stated Zeuch. “This winter will be all new for me being my first professional off-season. But working out and being in shape is a hobby of mine, so being in top shape next spring shouldn’t be a problem.”

With above-average or better feel on three of his four pitches, it’s not shocking that Zeuch is already considered the 8th best prospect in the Blue Jays organization by MLB.com.

Be sure to follow T.J. Zeuch as he continues to fine-tune his game towards a career in the big leagues in the near future.