Next up on Prospect Profiles is 23 year old Zach Pop. The hard throwing right handed relief pitcher was drafted 220th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017. Coming to Baltimore in the Manny Machado deal, Pop immediately showed himself as a potential building block.
Being drafted out of college at Kentucky, Zach Pop flourished in 2018. Between the first part of the season in the Dodgers system and finishing out 2018 in Bowie, Pop posted a 1.53 era for the year. In 14 games in Bowie, the right hander pitched 21.1 innings, allowing zero home runs and posting a below 1 WHIP.
Zach Pop is a very promising young arm, with a fastball topping out around 92-95 mph. This velocity will improve, and is accompanied by a devastating sinker that fools batters. Allowing only two home runs in his minor league career, Pop shows potential to be a solid bullpen arm in a ballpark like Camden Yards where home runs come all to easily.
Unfortunately for our number 25 prospect, Tommy Johns surgery ended Zach Pops season early in May of 2019. Before the surgery, Pop pitched in eight games, posting a .84 era while only allowing one run in 20.2 innings pitched.
2020 will be a monumental year for Zach Pop, as he will need to bounce back from his surgery and continue to strive. Pop has shown the potential, and he is one of the guys making a difference under the radar. I look forward to seeing his rebound, and hope to see a solid full season for Zach Pop.
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