Zach Pop - Baseball - University of Kentucky Athletics 52


  • height 6-4
  • Weight 220
  • class Junior
• Preseason Top 100 College Prospects, No. 74 (Baseball America)
• Preseason Top 100 College Prospects, No. 69 (D1 Baseball)
• SEC No. 19 2017 draft prospect (D1 Baseball)
• SEC Academic Honor Roll (2016)
• SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll (2015)

Big-time arm talent who has caught the attention of scouts with a mid-to-upper 90s fastball…Coaches like his heavy two-seam fastball and the way he attacks hitters mostly with that pitch…Improving slider that plays well off the fastball…Considered a Top 75 college prospect by both Baseball America and D1 Baseball so talent level is unquestioned…Likely commissioned for a late-inning role in the Wildcats’ bullpen… also listed him as the No. 19 draft-eligible prospect in the SEC.

Appeared in nine games with the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League…Had another strong summer to catch scouts’ eyes…Started six games and appeared out of the bullpen in three…Finished with a 2-3 record and 4.45 earned run average in 31.2 innings of work, giving up 31 hits and striking out 26…Struck out at least three batters in six of nine appearances…Team made the CCL playoffs.

Appeared in 19 games…Started six midweek games for the Wildcats, five of them before the calendar turned to April…Was 0-2 with a 5.09 earned run average in 35.1 innings pitched…Gave up 35 hits, 23 runs (20 earned), walked 16 and struck out 21 on the season…Batters hit .273 against him…Settled in as a reliever the second half of the season…Had a 4.35 ERA in 10.1 innings against SEC competition…Allowed just one of seven inherited runners to score…Set career-high for innings (4.0) and strikeouts (4) against Northern Kentucky on 3/29…Season statistics skewed by rough outing against Western Kentucky on 3/15 when he allowed six earned runs in 1.1 innings…Allowed just one home run on the season.

Pitched in 11 games with two midweek starts in his collegiate debut, owning a 0-0 record and a 4.50 ERA in 16 innings … Allowed 20 hits and nine walks, striking out seven … Inherited eight runners, allowing six to score … Made collegiate debut at No. 16 UC Santa Barbara in week two … Worked four consecutive outings without allowing an earned run, including getting a key strikeout vs. No. 20 Mississippi State … Made first career start vs. Morehead State in midweek action, allowing two earned runs in 3.2 innings … Started the following week vs. Indiana, allowing three runs – one earned – in 2.2 innings … Finished the year strong, with 1.2 shutout innings vs. Georgia and three innings, with one run surrendered, vs. NKU in the home finale. 

Member of the Canadian Junior National Team and coach Greg Hamilton … Played with the Toronto Mets (coach Ryan McBride) and the Ontario Blue Jays (coach Doug Mathieson) … Coached on Team Canada by pitching coach Chris Reitsma … “Zach’s come a long way,” Reitsma said. “He’s done really well. He’s got a power arm – he’s 91 to 93 [miles per hour] down there consistently and he’s got a power sinker, pretty good slider, and the makings of a half-decent changeup.” … Participated in the Major League Scouting Bureau’s pre-draft workout in Ontario and in mid-May of 2014 was up to 93 mph with his fastball at Perfect Game’s National Pre-Draft Showcase … Started pitching late in his youth career after growing up as a senior baseman.

Born in Brampton, Canada … Son of Sheldon and Judy … Has a younger sister, Hailey (16)….Major is Finance…Also played golf, volleyball and hockey in high school…Favorite MLB team is the Toronto Blue Jays…Favorite MLB player is former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera…Favorite SEC road venue is LSU. 
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