College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2011 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
We continue the list today with number 13 in our countdown with Louisville junior RHP Tony Zych. The Monee, Illinois, native attended St. Rita High School where he was a four year letter winner. As a senior, he hit .426 with eight home runs, 33 runs scored and 30 RBI as a second baseman while going 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA and 56 strikeouts on the mound.
He picked up a long list of awards in high school including: American Baseball Coaches Association Rawlings High School Gold Glove, ABCA Rawlings All-Region Team, Rawlings Preseason All-American, Under Armour Preseason All-American, National Baseball Coaches Association All-District Team, Illinois HS Baseball Coaches Association All-Area, Illinois Coaches Association Senior East All-Star Team and Chicago Tribune All-State Special Mention. The Chicago Cubs picked him in the 46th round of the 2008 MLB Draft but were not able to get a contract done with him.
Zych came right into the Louisville program seeing action mostly out of the bullpen as he had 6-2 record including two saves with a 3.25 ERA in 21 appearances (3 starts). He held opponents to a .235 average against while struggling with his control as he walked 10 batters, four wild pitches, and hit eight batters. He spent the summer of 2009 with the USA National Team where he worked out of the bullpen in six games with a 0-1 record with a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings of work. Baseball America named him the 17th best prospect on the USA National team. He was rated the 78th best player in the country by College Baseball Daily heading into the 2010 campaign.
His sophomore season in 2010 saw him go 5-2 with a 5.13 ERA in 59.2 innings of work. He pitched 59.2 innings while striking out 50 batters while walking 19. He spent the summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League with the Bourne Braves. He worked out of the bullpen as he didn’t record a decision but picked up 12 saves while having an ERA of 0.89. He was named a 2010 Cape Cod League All-Star and Cape Cod Baseball All-League Team member. In the CCBL All-Star game, Zych was clocked in the upper 90’s in his only inning of work. He also picked up two prestigious honores with the Russ Ford Award as the Cape Cod League’s Outstanding Relief Pitcher and the Robert A. McNeece Award as the Outstanding Pro Prospect.