WASHINGTON – Zach Brzykcy, 23, isn’t listed as a top 30 prospect in the Nationals’ system by MLB.com or Baseball America.
But that doesn’t mean the right-hander from North Carolina hasn’t made an impression in the farm system of Washington this season.
Signed out of Virginia Tech in 2020, the non-drafted free agent began the year at Single-A Wilmington and then was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg last month.
He recorded his first win at the Double-A level on the same day in June that his alma mater beat Oklahoma in the Blacksburg Regional at Virginia Tech. The reliever is 7-1 with an ERA of 1.43 and a WHIP of 0.90 split between the two teams this year. He has eight saves and is among the leaders in several categories among minor league pitchers with the Nationals.
The success of Brzykcy is not a surprise to Ryan Fecteau, the associate head coach/pitching at Virginia Tech.
The coach heard from another coach that Brzykcy was coming to the Hokies after looking at some other programs out of high school.
“I went and watched him at his high school and he was throwing 90, 92 then so I thought, ‘That’s a really good arm.’ He ended up coming; I wish we could have seen what he could have become,” Fecteau told Federal Baseball on Thursday.
That is because the 2020 college season was cut short due to COVID concerns.
“He was coming off that great summer (in 2019) on the Cape and he was starting to figure some things out,” said Fecteau, a former assistant at the University of Maryland under John Szefc, the current Virginia Tech head coach. “He was a good, late addition (to the program) for sure.”
“That Cape summer was where you start to figure out what he is. He is not a guy … he wasn’t a super emotional guy,” he added. “He stayed even-keeled.”
Fecteau has not been able to see Brzykcy pitch in person in the minors. He talked to him before this season began.
“If he makes the big leagues, obviously, I will be there,” said Fecteau, with a laugh. “I need to give him a shout.”
The right-hander had an ERA of 5.20 in 2021 for Wilmington in 28 games, with one start.
Harrisburg returns to action Friday when the Senators host Altoona, a farm team of the Pirates.