Love For Duke Grows Stronger For Theophilus


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Love For Duke Grows Stronger For Theophilus

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Zion Theophilus

Class of 2025 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2025
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Moeller
    State: OH
  • Summer Team: Canes National
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 165lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R

Statistics

Pitching
86
Max FB
(08/18/21)
82 - 83
FB
(06/01/21)
71 - 72
CB
(06/17/20)
78 - 79
CH
(06/01/21)
73 - 74
SL
(06/01/21)
Pitching
Max FB
81
FB
76 - 81
CB
71 - 72
CH
70 - 71
Position
8.34
60-yard
(08/03/19)
85
OF Velo
(06/01/21)
96
Exit Velo
(06/01/21)
4.50
H-1st
(06/01/21)
Position
60-yard
8.34
OF Velo
71
Exit Velo
71
Trackman - Fastball
83.5
Velocity (max)
(06/01/21)
81.6
Eff Velocity (avg)
(06/01/21)
2053
Spin Rate (max)
(06/01/21)
1917
Spin Rate (avg)
(06/01/21)
Trackman - Fastball
Velocity (max)
83.5
Velo Range
81.8 - 83.4
Eff Velocity (avg)
81.6
Spin Rate (max)
2053
Spin Rate (avg)
1917
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Fastball
Velocity (max)
74
Velo Range
73.3 - 73.9
Eff Velocity (avg)
69.2
Spin Rate (max)
2037
Spin Rate (avg)
1905
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Curveball
65.9
Velocity (max)
(06/17/20)
61.3
Eff Velocity (avg)
(06/17/20)
1727
Spin Rate (max)
(06/17/20)
1630
Spin Rate (avg)
(06/17/20)
Trackman - Curveball
Velocity (max)
65.9
Velo Range
64.5 - 65.8
Eff Velocity (avg)
61.3
Spin Rate (max)
1727
Spin Rate (avg)
1630
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Slider
74.2
Velocity (max)
(06/01/21)
72.4
Eff Velocity (avg)
(06/01/21)
1832
Spin Rate (max)
(06/01/21)
1832
Spin Rate (avg)
(06/01/21)
Trackman - Slider
Velocity (max)
74.2
Velo Range
73.4 - 74.2
Eff Velocity (avg)
72.4
Spin Rate (max)
1832
Spin Rate (avg)
1832
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - ChangeUp
78.4
Velocity (max)
(06/01/21)
78.0
Eff Velocity (avg)
(06/01/21)
1751
Spin Rate (max)
(06/01/21)
1735
Spin Rate (avg)
(06/01/21)
Trackman - ChangeUp
Velocity (max)
78.4
Velo Range
78.2 - 78.4
Eff Velocity (avg)
78
Spin Rate (max)
1751
Spin Rate (avg)
1735
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Trackman - ChangeUp
Velocity (max)
70.3
Velo Range
68.6 - 70.3
Eff Velocity (avg)
66.1
Spin Rate (max)
1657
Spin Rate (avg)
1619
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Hitting
96.8
Exit Velocity (max)
(06/01/21)
85.3
Exit Velocity (avg)
(06/01/21)
293
Distance (avg)
(06/01/21)
345
Distance (max)
(06/01/21)
Trackman - Hitting
Exit Velocity (max)
96.8
Exit Velocity (avg)
85.3
Distance (avg)
293
Distance (max)
345
Hard Hit %
Sweet Spot %
Line Drive %
Fly Ball %

Love For Duke Grows Stronger For Theophilus

ANDERSON - Zion Theophilus has always had a fondness for Duke University. It has become even more special now after a commitment to the Atlantic Coast Conference school by the Moeller freshman.

“At a young age I liked baseball, basketball and football,” Theophilus reflected. “Being a powerhouse in basketball brought me. Then a few years ago I saw Zion Williamson with the same first name as me playing there and I thought that’s cool. I also saw it’s a top 12 school in the world. I thought it would be challenging, but it seemed like a good fit for me.”

A connection began when Moeller head baseball coach Tim Held helped set up a phone call with Duke associate head coach Josh Jordan.

“I had a tournament down there at Durham and they saw me,” Theophilus noted. “I was alright, but I think I only threw like 55 percent strikes. They said they’d catch up with me again and I pitched phenomenal then. He really liked me and I ended up going to a camp. We had another talk with Josh the day after that. From there we had a zoom meeting and I committed on the spot.”

Duke believes the top-rated 2025 right-handed pitcher in Ohio has the ability to be a two-way player at the ACC school.

“They liked my pitching with high velo and a good breaking ball and they said I had a good frame,” the 6-1 165-pounder related. “They also said I had untapped potential with my bat.”

The left-handed hitting outfielder is happy to have a two-way opportunity.

“Going as a two-way guy is exciting to me,” Theophilus said.

It is only part of what the fourth-ranked freshman in the state likes about Duke.

“The fields were all great, the practice field, Durham field and the outdoor turf field,” Theophilus noted. “Everything about the campus and seeing people collaborating together was awesome. The class size has a 19-1 student-to-teacher ratio which is similar to Moeller. I feel I’ll fit in a lot better with something like that. I feel I’ll learn better.”

Exposure for Theophilus came from a number of avenues.

“Coach Scott Bray brought me into travel baseball at age 10,” Theophilus related. “My first year of 10U I played 30 innings in 60 games. I sat the bench and was the number one cheerleader. After that I thought I didn’t want to sit on the bench so I started working hard and at 11 I was the best player on the team.

“Recently I joined the Canes national organization,” Theophilus continued about those that have been influential. “Dan Gitzen, their coach, knows dudes at Duke a lot and has been a big help. Coach Held at Moeller as well, allowing me to get in contact with Duke.”

Theophilus also gave credit to PBR, which gave a “Dude Alert” to the 15-year-old after participating at the Southern Ohio Rising Prospects showcase.

“I was coming off a tournament with no rest,” Theophilus reflected. “What stood out was everybody at PBR was so involved and explained things better to us rather than just telling you to go out and show what you’ve got like others do.”

Ohio State, Wright State and Virginia were among some of the schools intrigued with the Moeller freshman.

“I looked at other schools interested in me, I just felt Duke was my favorite and none of the others could compete with them,” Theophilus admitted. “I feel they will help me do great things in baseball and outside of baseball as well.”

Interest in playing college baseball began at a young age for Theophilus.

“At about nine years of age after my mother passed, to feel the void and time I turned to baseball,” Theophilus reflected. “Instead of being sad I spent time practicing with my dad which helped bring me to where I am. He introduced me to pitching. I didn’t want to pitch, I wanted to be a shortstop, but he said ‘Zion, you have a gift. Don’t waste it.’ That dream of being a shortstop turned into a pitcher.”

Celebrating his commitment with his father was memorable.

“He’s my biggest fan,” Theophilus said. “He’s supported me more than anyone else. Some people don’t think a freshman should commit and others are jealous, but most people, like my dad, are glad for me to be able to grow for the next four years.”

Still, Theophilus can’t help but think back to his mother and what she would feel now.

“She was my number one fan,” Theophilus said of his mom, who passed away from liver cancer. “Back then I was immature and had anger problems. I’ve grown into the person I am today, keeping cool and calm. I want to be the best man I can be. I feel she’d be really proud of me today.”



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