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Blue Jays' Zeuch sharp again in Fall League

Toronto's No. 5 prospect allows one run in five frames
MLB.com

PEORIA, Az. -- T.J. Zeuch, the Toronto Blue Jays' No. 5 prospect, is taking the Arizona Fall League by storm.

"I was very honored to be invited to come out here and have a chance to play against some of the best hitters in the Minor League system," Zeuch said. "This is a great opportunity to face great competition, as well as get more work in."

PEORIA, Az. -- T.J. Zeuch, the Toronto Blue Jays' No. 5 prospect, is taking the Arizona Fall League by storm.

"I was very honored to be invited to come out here and have a chance to play against some of the best hitters in the Minor League system," Zeuch said. "This is a great opportunity to face great competition, as well as get more work in."

Box score

Zeuch allowed four hits and one run in five frames for the Peoria in its 9-8 win against the Salt River Rafters. The 22-year-old has found nothing but success in the Fall League. He threw for three perfect innings with four strikeouts in his Fall League debut on Oct. 14. In his next start, on Oct. 20, he tossed five scoreless innings, striking out four batters and allowing three hits.

"It's a big learning opportunity," Zeuch said. "Kind of get better at reading hitters. ... We have great catchers who I can talk with and learn from them and kind of get their perspective on things and learn different ways to use my pitches. Same with the coaching staff here."

Zeuch hurled 45 of his 74 pitches for strikes and his ERA jumped from 0.00 to 0.69 after allowing his first AFL run. His 0.69 WHIP is the fifth-best mark among Fall League pitchers.

Zeuch spent the majority of his first full pro season with Class A Advanced Dunedin, posting a 3.38 ERA in 58 2/3 innings. He threw 34 innings in his professional debut in 2016 after he was selected 21st overall in the 2016 Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh.

"I just wanted to leave that place better than I found it," Zeuch said of Pittsburgh. "It's not like an LSU or a Florida. It's not a top-tier, huge name program that you think of. What guys don't realize is a lot of the times you don't have to go to programs like that to get the attention."

Peoria's win on Friday lifted its record to 9-6, putting the team at the top of the West Division.

Brittany Bowyer is a graduate journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.