The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes have been on quite a tear since the second-half of the season began. The Los Angeles Dodgers Advanced-A affiliate has now reeled off 12 straight victories after last night’s defeat of the San Jose Giants. All this, after winning the Cal League First Half Championship in mid-June. Zach Pop is an integral part of this success. He has some statistics that make you do a double-take. Yes, his ERA is 0.36 in 24.2 innings of work. One earned run allowed so far for the season from Quakes stellar reliever.
Normally we don’t take off our shirts and celebrate a Lancaster JetHawks victory, but when you come from 7 games under .500 and win a First Half South Title because of it…well, sometimes you act a little crazy. See you in September. Go Quakes! #FirstHalfChamps pic.twitter.com/6vBsOHQHri
— Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (@RCQuakes) June 17, 2018
The hard throwing right handed pitcher was drafted last season in the June draft. He went in the seventh round after his junior year at Kentucky. Pop had suffered a right forearm flexor strain in a longer outing against South Carolina during the ’17 campaign. He posted a 3.48 ERA in 22 appearances for the Wildcats in last year.
In @pop_zach‘s last 10 outings he has four saves and a 0.59 ERA. He’s allowed seven hits, one run, three walks and struck out 14 in 15.1 IP. That’ll work.#CatsinthePros #MLBTrainingGround #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/oIbUSldouD
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) June 16, 2018
Inside the Numbers
His ERA can only be read by some with a microscope or some sort of magnifying instrument. (0.36) You read that correctly. One earned run allowed in all his time in the Cal League. Hitters are batting a buck-fifty (.150) off of Pop. The Wildcat Alum has a team leading seven saves and has one win and one hold as well. To further illustrate Pop’s dominance, he has only surrendered 12 hits in his 24.2 innings.
Zach Pop – Name to Remember
Although not a household name among Dodgers faithful at this time, Zach Pop has the makings of a top line closer in the show someday. Mentally tough, perhaps could be an understatement. In addition to his mid to high 90’s fastball, Pop also has a high 80’s slider to compliment his fastball. Everything he throws has movement, and everything he throws is hard.
When watching Zach Pop pitch, notice the batters. Not just during the at-bat, but before and after. Hitters will leave the batter’s box literally shaking their heads as they go back to the dugout. That is a sure sign that the pitcher is nasty. Cal League hitters have been leaving their collective late inning AB’s versus Pop with much disappointment.
It will be interesting to watch this pitcher develop in the Dodgers organization. Learn his name now, he could be setting up for Kenley Jansen in Los Angeles within two years.
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