Name: Zach Varce
School level: JR
In the 11th round the Yankees took University of Portland product Zach Vance. He’s a 6’0″ 195 lbs. right handed pitcher.
This is what Baseball America had to say about him:
Righthander Varce carved up the Northwoods League last summer, going 3-5, 1.93 with a league-leading 105 strikeouts and just 20 walks over 75 innings. The success carried over early in the spring with Portland, but by the end of the year he was gassed. He pitched at 90-92 mph, touching 93, at his best, but later in the year he had starts when he didn’t touch 90. He’s 6 feet and 190 pounds, so scouts believe his future is as a middle reliever. At his best his slider can be an above-average pitch, but not when it’s down to 74 mph as it was later in the year. Scouts hope putting him in the bullpen will help him get the most out of his arm.
Here is an excerpt from and MLB.com article:
That’s because Varce’s repertoire is broader than it is deep, containing four pitches he can throw to any hitter in any count. So although the 21-year-old may not yet possess a Major League-caliber pitch, he has the potential to one day throw a quartet of them.
“I can throw pretty much any pitch in any count, and that’s what’s really helped me keep guys off-balance,” said Varce, who turned in a 5-2 record and a 3.48 ERA in 13 starts as a junior at Portland.
Those pitches include a fastball that lingers around 90 mph, but touches 93, along with a slider, changeup and split-finger.
With that diverse arsenal, it only made sense for Varce to make the transition from being the Pilots’ closer to their Friday starter — the treasured slot traditionally reserved for the staff ace. The adrenaline of the ninth inning was gone, but in its place was a renewed sense of comfort and a better feel for his pitches.
“He’s got a real deceptive fastball. There’s a swing-and-miss to it,” said Oppenheimer. “He doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, but he has deceptive stuff, and he’s been a successful pitcher.”