For the second year in a row, the Cubs have selected a pitcher from Missouri with their second round pick. Last time around it was Pierce Johnson from Missouri State. This time it’s 6’3″ lefty Rob Zastryzny from Mizzou. Could this be the start of another run on pitching from the Cubs? In 2012 they took 7 pitchers in a row after Almora and 10 of 13. That sort of run makes me a little uncomfortable, but if any team needs to do it, even for multiple years, it’s the Cubs.
The latest in a long line of talented Missouri pitchers, Zastryzny has a good feel for the craft of pitching. His fastball typically sits in the upper-80s, but Zastryzny has the ability to add and subtract velocity as necessary. His fastball velocity typically ranges from 86 mph to 94 mph. Zastryzny, a left-hander, uses his height – he’s listed at 6-foot-3 – to create a downhill angle for his fastball, which has late action. Zastryzny also throws a changeup and slider. He commands his whole arsenal well and all three of his pitches have the chance to be at least Major League-average offerings.
Baseball America (#76)
Though Zastryzny won just two of his first 11 starts this spring as Missouri got a rude welcome to the Southeastern Conference, scouts aren’t holding that against him. A lefthander who can really pitch with his fastball, he should go in the first three rounds. Zastrzyny effortlessly adds and subtracts from his fastball, usually sitting around 90 mph but capable of dropping down to 86 or elevating four-seamers up in the zone at 95. The 6-foot-3, 193-pounder can locate his fastball to either side of the plate and gets good angle, which helps it play up further. His most reliable secondary pitch is his changeup, which shows flashes of being a plus offering. His breaking ball is less consistent, as he will switch between a slider and curveball. Zastryzny throws strikes but will need to refine his command in pro ball.
— Nathan Rode (@NathanRode) June 7, 2013
In 90+ innings this year, Zastryzny struck out 82 while walking 24 and giving up 93 hits. He also gave up 10 HRs in 2013, as compared to only 4 in 109 innings in 2012. Mizzou’s move to the tougher SEC may have hurt him in this regard. Overall, nothing too overwhelming here, but that’s not unexpected. Jonah Hill isn’t making these picks on his Vaio.
As is the case with Bryant, Zastryzny is evidently not lacking in the ego tool. That’s it for the Cubs on Day 1. Check back tomorrow for Rounds 3-10.