6/6 More on Lefty Z

Rob Zastryzny, whom the Cubs took with the 41st pick overall in the First-Year Player Draft, was projected by some as a possible first-round pick. Baseball America ranked him as the 12th best left-hander available. He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that all 30 teams had contacted him prior to the Draft, and that he had extensive talks with the Yankees, Royals, Astros and Blue Jays.

“It’s a little stressful,” Zastryzny told the Post-Dispatch. “You don’t know where you’re going to spend your future in the league. The way I’m going about it is if I get treated fairly, I’m going to sign and go immediately [to the pros].”

He does have one year of eligibility remaining at Missouri. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Zastryzny’s family moved to Texas when he was 1 year old. He was a pitcher and first baseman in high school, and switched to pitching only his junior year. Last spring, the lefty started the Big 12 tournament opener and championship game for Missouri.

He has four pitches — fastball, changeup, slider and curve. At the SEC tournament, scouts clocked his fastball in the mid 90s.

There are three former Tigers pitchers who have reached the big leagues — Detroit’s Max Scherzer, the Royals’ Aaron Crow and the Twins’ Kyle Gibson. The Rangers tabbed Mizzou’s Nick Tepesch in the 14th round in 2010.

“I’m just honored to be in the conversation,” Zastryzny told the Post-Dispatch. “And I’m willing to prove I’m as good as them and that Mizzou still has great pitching.”

And, in case you’re interested, I’m told his name is pronounced: ZAS-tris-knee.

– Carrie Muskat

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