With the excitement of the 2016 MLB Draft behind us, we can now look ahead to the future of the Toronto Blue Jays. In this segment, we will be covering the top-10 players that the Toronto Blue Jays selected in this years draft. Today’s spotlight shows off the hard throwing righty, T.J. Zeuch.
First Round – 21st Overall – RHP T.J. Zeuch
With the Toronto Blue Jays first round pick, Mark Shapiro and company selected RHP T.J. Zeuch. Zeuch is a 6-foot-7 starter from the University of Pittsburgh. The Ohio native had a stellar year with the Panthers, going 6-1 with a 3.10 ERA after suffering a severe groin injury earlier that year. Zeuch’s large frame makes him a force on the mound as his fastball has been known to touch as high as 97 MPH on the radar gun.
Baseball America had T.J. listed as the 20th best prospect in the 2016 draft, while ESPN had him going 18th overall to the Houston Astros. These rankings show that Toronto may have gotten a slightly better pick than first anticipated, as they took him 21st overall. The 20 year old should report to Toronto’s rookie ball affiliate, The Vancouver Canadians, later this year. If the big righty fulfills his potential, he should be able to provide some stability out of the rotation for a diminished Blue Jays farm system. Baseball America estimates that T.J. Zeuch will reach the major league level in 2018, which means the powerful starter could be seen as a September call-up as early as next year.
The Blue Jays officially signed Zeuch to a minor-league deal with a $2,175,000 signing bonus, $110,100 under MLB’s recommended allocation for that pick. That means Toronto will have an extra $110,00 that can be used to persuade other draft picks to join the team. Only time will tell how Zeuch will develop, but his already large frame and impressive fastball velocity is a strong indicator that Zeuch should comfortably make his way up the Blue Jays farm system. How do you think Zeuch will perform in his career as a Blue Jay?