Blue Jays' prospect Zuech demands better results from himself

Jays No. 1 pick T.K. Zuech throws a bullpen. Photo: Ben Holmes

Jays No. 1 pick T.K. Zuech throws a bullpen. Photo: Ben Holmes

By: Ben Holmes

Canadian Baseball Network

DUNEDIN, Fl - T.J. Zeuch knows just what to do to progress through the Blue Jays organization.

Toronto’s 2016 first round pick out of the University of Pittsburgh has shown flashes of why the club rates him so highly, but he knows there is a lot of room for improvement.

“When I got to Lansing I was executing some pitches,” said the right-handed pitcher Zeuch at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. “I just didn’t get the results I was looking for.”

Last season the 6-foot-7 power pitcher finished with a 4.50 earned run average and an 0-2 record across 31 innings, 23 for the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays Low-A affiliate) and eight for the Lansing Lugnuts (mid-level A).

That wasn’t enough for him.

“No one has higher expectations of me than I have for myself,” said Zeuch, a 21-year-old product of Mason, Ohio.

Currently possessing a big-league heater and a decent curveball, and he continues to develop his other off-speed pitches.

The second-year pro acknowledges the necessity for a starter to have a reliable change-up and is working hard to improve it in addition to his sinker.

“Locating my sinker on my glove side, on the inside left hand corner of the plate, I have to get that ball to run back over the plate to brush left handers off the plate a little bit,” he said.

The upside is high for the right-hander who uses every inch of his long frame to his advantage during his delivery.

“Having a downhill plane, coming down from such a high mound with such a long arm makes it a lot harder for hitters to pick up my pitches.”

He credits the Blue Jays organization and its coaches for his development so far in his short professional career.

“The team obviously has everything together in the front office and they obviously know what they’re doing based on the success they’ve had at the big league level. I’ve heard a lot of good things about how they develop arms.”