Prospectus Preview: Close to the Bigs, Tony Zych
(Photo by Rodger Wood)
The 2012 season was a good one for right-hander Tony Zych. The reliever successfully made the difficult jump from High-A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee while retaining a K/9 ratio of around nine. He also got better acclimated to tougher opponents.
Once the Smokies wrapped up their 2012 campaign, the Chicago-area native made the trek to Mesa to represent the Cubs in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League. There he finished with a 3.86 ERA and made the All-Star team for his bullpen efforts. And in mid-January, Zych was one of 12 prospects invited to the Rookie Development Program, a week of seminars in Chicago designed to better prepare prospects who are nearing the major leagues.
Though the power arm will likely start the season in Double-A, Zych could find himself on the major league roster by the end of the season.
Zych is one of more than 60 players covered in Vine Line’s annual Minor League Prospectus. The issue is on newsstands now, with single issues available by calling 800-618-8377. It’s an exhaustive rundown, perfect for Spring Training and beyond.
RHP | Tony Zych
Born: 8/7/90 in Crete, Ill.
Acquired: 2011 Draft (4)
Tools: Velocity, Fastball, Slider
2012 STATS (High-A): 3.19 ERA, 36.2 IP, 32 H, 7 BB, 36 K (Double-A): 4.38 ERA, 24.4 IP, 26 H, 12 BB, 28 K
It’s max arm, max effort for Zych, the former University of Louisville closer who has been on the fast track to Chicago. He throws a mid-90s fastball with a hard slider, and has a short, deceptive delivery that features some ugly recoil. Still, he isn’t an extreme strikeout pitcher—merely a good one who uses his slider as more of a complementary offering. McLeod envisions Zych’s fastball as one that will run in on hands and stay off barrels. Both his velocity and mound makeup profile for the late innings. Though he’s just two years out of college, that future could come as soon as 2013.
Other players featured in this section: infielders Junior Lake, Josh Vitters and Logan Watkins; outfielders Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur; and pitchers Alberto Cabrera, Trey McNutt, Brooks Raley, Nick Struck and Robert Whitenack.
Plus, tidbits on OF Jae-Hoon Ha, LHP Chris Rusin, LHP Frank Del Valle, LHP Zach Rosscup, RHP Matt Loosen, IF Justin Bour, RHP Marcus Hatley, LHP Austin Kirk and RHP Eric Jokisch.