Pittsburgh Pirates Mock Draft MLB.com: Update 1

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The MLB Draft is less than a month away for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first round starts on June 9th.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have two first round selections in the MLB Draft at number 22 and number 41.  With that many sites such as MLB.com have been putting out their mock drafts leading up to draft day.  Unfortunately, MLB.com has the picks only going up #34, the end of the true first round.  The Pirate’s pick at #41 is in the Competitive Balance round.  At RumBunter we have been covering the draft with several articles on high school prep players and college players.

The purpose of this articles is to focus on one specific player that is being mocked to the Pirates.  MLB.com seems the most logical site to use as it is not biased, cover baseball exclusively, and have the best access to the teams and their scouts. Jim Callis is one of the best baseball insiders when it comes to prospects and the draft.  He certainly has his sources and reasoning behind everything he projects for each team’s draft.  So what does Callis predict this year?

“22. Pirates: T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh
The last time Pittsburgh took a local product in the first round was 2004, and Neil Walker worked out nicely. Zeuch’s season ended on Thursday, but he has steadily climbed Draft boards since missing the first month of the season with a groin strain.”

Related Story: College Pitchers

Related Story: Prep Middle Infields

Zeuch’s profile as a pitcher fits the Pirates mold.  He mainly throws a two-seam fastball that sits about 92-94 miles per hour and produces ground balls.  He also has three other pitches to offer.  His slider is his best secondary pitch, it sits in the upper 80’s and he is able to generate swings and misses.  He also throws a twelve-to-six curve-ball which seems to be a plus pitch.  A lot of batters pound his curve-ball right into the ground.  His last pitch is his mid-80’s change-up.  Like most young pitchers he still need to develop this pitch.

However, already possessing three plus pitches he should be able to get by with an average change-up. The last notable thing about Zeuch is that he is big, he stands at 6’7” and 220 pounds the build of a workhorse.  He was Pitt’s work horse this year going 6-1 in 10 starts with a 3.10 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and a strong 3.89 k/bb ratio.

More from Rum Bunter

If the Pirates drafted Zeuch it would not be a reach by any means.  Just last month he was ranked as the #41 best prospect according to mlb.com.   However, he continued to pitch better and better as the weather warmed up and scouts started to see that he is very polished already.  With that he now is finding himself ranked in the 20-30 range. The Pirates could draft him at #22 and add a quality pitching prospect to the minors as they graduate Taillon, Glasnow, and Kuhl to the MLB. The other positive is that he is a local product and fans always enjoy having local players on team.  It could be an all around good scenario for all sides.

Zeuch is not from Pittsburgh, he is from Mason, Ohio.