The Toronto Blue Jays have officially signed the majority of their 2016 draft picks, including T.J. Zeuch, their first round pick.
The Blue Jays have now officially signed nine of their top 11 selections plus 15 late-round picks to lock up 24 total players. They’ve also reached an agreement with third round pick Zach Jackson while Kirby Snead, their 10th round pick, can’t officially sign until he’s finished playing in the College World Series.
In other words, the Blue Jays have effectively completed the vast majority of their negotiating with picks in the top 10 rounds, a group on which they can spend $6,665,900 without facing penalties.
Zeuch, whose sinking fastball sits in the 93-95 mph range, obtains $2,175,000 from the Blue Jays. MLB recommended a bonus of $2,285,100 for the 21st pick, which means the Blue Jays can now allocate $110,100 toward players selected later in the draft.
Zeuch, a 6-foot-7 right-hander, caught the Blue Jays’ attention in the Cape Cod League last summer and continued impressing at the University of Pittsburgh, where Toronto scouted nearly all of his 2016 starts.
“A good fastball. That’s probably his best trait right now,” Blue Jays amateur scouting director Brian Parker said after selecting Zeuch. “There’s still upside with this guy.”
Parker describes the 20-year-old Zeuch as a projectable pitcher whose curve improved over the course of a 2016 season in which he went 6-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 69.2 innings.
“I’m very excited to be playing for an organization that’s on such a high upswing,” Zeuch said the night he was drafted.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis first reported the agreement with Zeuch. Teams have until July 15 to sign 2016 draftees.