Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Top Prospects: #8 T.J. Zeuch

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 07: The bat and glove of Jose Bautista
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 07: The bat and glove of Jose Bautista /

Toronto Blue Jays hurler T.J. Zeuch climbed his way into the Top 10 on the Jays Journal Top Prospects of 2018 organizational rankings after a successful 2017 campaign, Zeuch slides into the 8th spot on our countdown.

T.J. Zeuch was selected in the 1st round, 21st overall by the Blue Jays out of the University of Pittsburgh in the 2016 amateur draft. Zeuch and the Jays agreed upon a slightly below slot value signing bonus of $2,175,000.

Name: T.J. Zeuch
Position: RHP        Age: 22
Height: 6’7”    Age: 225 lbs.
Throws: Right            Bats: Right
Acquired: 1st round pick (2016)

The big right-hander stands 6’7″ and is an intimidating presence on the bump, he possesses a sinking fastball in the low to mid-nineties with a much-improved curveball as his out pitch. Zeuch is a ground-ball pitcher with a smooth a  delivery and excellent control who models himself to Adam Wainwright.

Zeuch credited his competitiveness and control as his biggest strengths in a past interview with MLB Daily Dish.

"“My competitiveness. I’m not going to back down from any hitter, regardless of the situation. With my size, a lot of guys expect me to be more wild than most pitchers. One of my biggest strengths is that I’m not very wild at all, I don’t walk very many guys. That keeps my infield in it, keeps my outfielders in it. It keeps the game interesting and keeps it in rhythm.”"

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The 22-year old spent the majority of last season in Advanced-A ball with Dunedin appearing in 15 games in 2017. Zeuch was rolling early on until missing just over two months with an injury that somewhat derailed his season.

He rounded out the campaign with a solid 3.66 earned run average fanning 51 in 65.2 innings of work. In 24 career games at the minor league level, he owns a minuscule 0.5 HR/9 ratio surrendering only 6 home runs thus far as well as a tidy 2.3 BB/9 ratio.

Zeuch also made 5 appearances for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League boasting a 3.44 ERA surrendering 7 earned runs in 18.1 innings for Peoria. Zeuch dominated for the most part other that one bad outing where he was shellacked for 6 runs that inflated his final AFL stat line.

Next: Blue Jays farmhand retires due to lingering shoulder injury

Zeuch has a real chance to catapult up the organizational depth chart if he can put it all together in 2018 and take that next step. He has the pedigree and the stuff to be a front of the rotation caliber starter at the major league level. Look for Zeuch to break the Baseball America Top 100 rankings with a dominant first half.

Top-30 Blue Jays Prospect Rankings:
#30: OF Jonathan Davis    #29: OF Harold Ramirez    #28: OF Joshua Palacios 

#27: 1B/OF Ryan Noda    #26: SS Kevin Smith    #25: OF Roemon Fields                

#24: P Angel Perdomo    #23: C Reese McGuire     #22: OF Dwight Smith Jr. 

#21: P Jordan Romano    #20: P Jon Harris    #19: P Tim Mayza

#18: C Riley Adams    #17: P Thomas Pannone    #16: P Justin Maese

#15: C Hagen Danner   #14: C Max Pentecost    #13: 1B Rowdy Tellez

#12: P Eric Pardinho    #11: SS Richard Urena    #10: P Ryan Borucki

#9: P Sean Reid-Foley