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Pitching Prospect Rundown, Aug 8-11: Zeuch taking off

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This is as good as close as we're going to get to a picture of Zeuch for a while folks
This is as good as close as we're going to get to a picture of Zeuch for a while folks
Minor Leaguer

After a very measured beginning to his pro career, T.J. Zeuch is finally being some latitude to show what made him a first rounder. Despite throwing less innings than usual for Pitt this spring due to an injury, Zeuch was not assigned to Vancouver for almost a month after signing, and then was strictly limited to three inning outings for his first three outings. Now it look like the restrictor plates are coming off, as he went four innings last week and Wednesday night turned in five very good innings.

Working with a fastball registering 93-94 on the stadium gun, Zeuch allowed 3 runs on 8 hits, with 6 strikeouts and no free passes. That line doesn't reflect how good Zeuch was, as of those hits, three were infield singles, one was a bouncer up the middle, and another one or two were dunkers that fell in. he did give up a couple of hard hits, but probably could have escaped with 5 shutout innings had he not been so snakebitten as hits were strung together in the 4th inning.

The other major positive was 11 swinging strikes, a stellar 69% contact rate. The second time through the order, he was piling up the whiffs on what was being called a change-up, at around 87 MPH.

PPR Key

***

New Hampshire/Dunedin
IP TBF R H BB* K BB% K% GB% PU% TP Stk Whf Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
MLB Average 8% 20% 45% 6% 50% 39% 33% 79%
S. Dawson 4+ 21 2 3 6 1 29% 5% 14% 29% 96 53 3 24% 71% 25% 92%
T. Cole 5 25 3 7 3 3 12% 12% 39% 6% 90 54 10 48% 32% 25% 76%
S. Reid-Foley 2 14 5 7 1 3 7% 21% 40% 0% 60 38 7 36% 64% 31% 75%
C. Rowley 4 15 0 2 1 4 7% 27% 30% 0% 55 35 10 33% 40% 26% 64%
J. Harris 7 26 2 4 1 4 4% 15% 48% 10% 84 61 9 46% 27% 34% 82%
C. Fisk 6.2 25 2 5 0 3 0% 12% 27% 9% 90 62 9 48% 40% 22% 83%

Notes:
- Shane Dawson was only scraping 82-86 in his fastball, which is low even for him, along with the usual slow, slower and glacially slow secondaries. He only walked one over the first three innings, then his control completely deserted him
- Taylor Cole managed damage yesterday, but gave up quite a bit of hard contact and was seemingly on the ropes multiple times before rebounding. Fastball was 91-93.
- Sean Reid-Foley showed some rust after no pitching for 10 days. He couldn't consistently find the zone and get ahead, and paid the price. That said, about half the hits were not hit hard, just found holes and things snowballed in the 36 pitch 2nd inning. Chris Rolwey surprisingly came in to relieve him and settled tings down though Dunedin still lost
- Jon Harris was fantastic, even better than agood stat line, with a complete game 7 inning win. He continued to manage contact well in the Florida State League; on the ground in the early going, later in the outing more routine fly balls. The cherry on top was the 9 swinging strikes, though with the caveat that most of those were the same three batters.  
- Conor Fisk stays in the rotation as they appear to be sticking with a 6 man rotation, and he continues getting the job done. Both runs yesterday were on home runs (one of which was a cheapie which the wind carried out)

***

Lansing
IP TBF R H BB* K BB% K% GB% PU% TP Stk Whf Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
MLB Average 8% 20% 45% 6% 50% 39% 33% 79%
J. Romano 5.1 22 3 4 2 5 9% 23% 29% 0% 85 51 8 45% 50% 24% 80%
A. Perdomo 6 24 0 5 3 5 13% 21% 27% 7% 88 58 10 58% 25% 30% 78%
R. Borucki 5 18 0 1 3 5 17% 28% 44% 0% 67 44 9 67% 28% 30% 73%

Notes:
- A solid start for Jordan Romano, though the top/middle of the Fort Wayne lineup worked a lot of deep counts. Then the third time through got to him, with 1B/2B/SF/HR to knock him out in the 6th. FB touched 96, more low 90s.
- Angel Perdomo had a more efficient than usual start, though still gave up a decent share of baserunners.
- Tom Robson followed with a  shorter than recently typical 1.2 inning relief outing, ending by allowing a home run. Fastball ~93.
- It looks like Ryan Borucki's inning will be managed for the rest of the year, as the last two outings he's been pulled after 5 despite efficient outings. He lost the strike zone for a few batters here and there, but was otherwise very good working with a 91-92 fastball and the great equalizer in his changeup (and a few whiffs on sliders too).

***

Vancouver
IP TBF R H BB* K BB% K% GB% PU% TP Stk Whf Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
MLB Average 8% 20% 45% 6% 50% 39% 33% 79%
L. Sanchez (I) 4+ 22 2 6 5 1 23% 5% 56% 6% 69 34 2 36% 41% 17% 92%
P. Murphy 7 25 1 3 1 4 4% 16% 42% 5% 78 51 8 48% 36% 27% 80%
Z. Jackson 1.2 6 0 1 1 2 17% 33% 0% 0% 30 14 3 67% 50% 24% 67%
T.J. Zeuch 5 22 3 8 0 6 0% 27% 100% 50% 62 46 11 55% 18% 41% 69%
D. Rodriguez 1.1 12 7 6 1 0 8% 0% 43% 0% 41 23 1 25% 58% 14% 95%

Notes:
- Luis Sanchez has a special ability to give up a ton of baserunnners, yet mostly escape damage. Or lower level hitters aren't that good. I report, you decide. Fastball around 90 MPH
- Patrick Murphy had a great start to the second half, perhaps his best start in the NWL. Very efficient pounding the zone with a 93-95 fastball, and inducing weak contact even when it was in the air. Just a couple hard hit balls.
- Zach Jackson followed him with 1.2 decent innings of relief before hitting his limit of 30 pitches, he worked 92-94 with his fastball (below where he was with Arkansas in 2015 whe he was electric)
- 2016 9th rounder Nick Hartman had a couple relief outings, one mediocre, one a walkoff loss (after getting the first two outs). Jon Harris a good reminder not to read too much into a college pitcher's draft year, but disappointing so far considering he got close to full slot.
- Dalton Rodriguez has a bad start yesterday. I say bad and not terrible despite the above line, as the two relievers who followed him were worse, and Vancouver gave up 15 runs by the end of the 3rd.