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May 1st minor league update: Zeuch, Rios, Jansen

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday featured only a partial slate in the minors, but it was a perfect 3-0 sweep across as the organization, with the D-Jays joining their major league counterparts in downing the Yankees. Beating the Yankees never gets old.

In Reading, Francisco Rios had a solid night, going 7 innings on just 85 pitches, allowing just a single unearned run on 8 hits and a walk while striking out 4. He held 93-94 MPH on his fastball throughout, which is where he's been this year and I believe a bit firmer than last year. Rios did a very good job working ahead, falling behind just 9 of 29 batters while only three saw more than four pitches. He missed more bats than usual, totalling 12 swinging strikes on 44 swings for a 73% contact rate.

The one drawback is the contact yielded. He generated under 30% ground balls, with 6 hard hit line drives ofthe 22 balls in play against him, and other pair of reasonably well squared up "fliners" that fell in for hits. Conversely, there was just one hit for extra bases and Rios induced three ground ball double plays, so he really limited damage. Overall, another good outing for the soon-to-be 22 year old in his first month in AA.

Chris Rowley finished the game with 2 shutout innings, striking out 3 without allowing a hit, though he did hit two batters in his last inning (with rain falling, pretty heavily). He's now got a 2.45 ERA in 14.2 innings, with 16 strikeouts. It's not huge stuff, but an interesting under the radar name to keep an eye on.


T.J. Zeuch turned in fourth straight strong outing for Dunedin, going 5.1 innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, with no free passes and 7 strikeouts. That's a very good overall line, but Zeuch was flat out dominant the first two times through the order, with 5 strikeouts and no solid contact on 13 balls in play (the three hits were a bunt, popup just beyond the infield, and roller through the hole). He did fade the 3rd time through, giving up three solid singles and a double to the gap which resulted in the two runs.

Zeuch started out hitting 93-94 on his fastball, though that dipped to 89-92 in the middle innings (though equally effective), and at least touching a 93 towards the end. His mid-80s slider was very effective both for called strikes and missing bats, mixing in the change-up effective as well in a similar velocity range. He totaled 13 whiffs on 49 swings, a good 74% contact rate. In total, half of balls in play were on the ground, with an additional three popups.

On the hitting side, Danny Jansen hit his third home run of the season as part of a 2/4 night, running his triple slash line to .407/.435/.535. His plate discipline was good in past seasons with good raw power, but he hadn't actually hit much at all. Now he's doing that in a big way, while maintaining the strong plate discipline. I guess the lesson here is that it really helps to be able to see the ball properly (and maybe the Jays could have had his eyes checked 2-3 years ago?).

Ryan McBroom and Richard Urena both homered for NewHampshire. McBroom added a double for a good six total base night, but Urena's first AA home run was basically a pretty routine fly ball that hit the jetstream carrying out to left field last night.