Northeast Senior Games Connects Szabo With Troy


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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Northeast Senior Games Connects Szabo With Troy

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Zakery Szabo

Class of 2022 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Sinclair
    State: ON
  • Summer Team: Toronto Mets 16U
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 205lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
91
Max FB
(08/10/21)
90 - 91
FB
(08/10/21)
70 - 75
CB
(05/01/19)
71 - 74
CH
(05/01/19)
75 - 78
SL
(08/10/21)
Pitching
Max FB
91
FB
90 - 91
SL
75 - 78
Pitching
Max FB
91
FB
90 - 91
SL
75 - 78
Pitching
Max FB
85
FB
82 - 85
CB
72 - 73
Pitching
Max FB
84
FB
80 - 84
CB
70 - 75
CH
71 - 74
Position
7.25
60-yard
(09/28/19)
82
INF Velo
(09/28/19)
96
Exit Velo
(09/28/19)
Position
60-yard
7.25
INF Velo
82
Exit Velo
96
Position
60-yard
7.53
INF Velo
79
Exit Velo
83
Trackman - Fastball
91.36
Velocity (max)
(08/10/21)
89.07
Eff Velocity (avg)
(08/10/21)
2319
Spin Rate (max)
(08/10/21)
2130
Spin Rate (avg)
(08/10/21)
Trackman - Fastball
Velocity (max)
91.36
Velo Range
88.54 - 90.95
Eff Velocity (avg)
89.07
Spin Rate (max)
2319
Spin Rate (avg)
2130
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Slider
78.60
Velocity (max)
(08/10/21)
74.78
Eff Velocity (avg)
(08/10/21)
2508
Spin Rate (max)
(08/10/21)
2415
Spin Rate (avg)
(08/10/21)
Trackman - Slider
Velocity (max)
78.6
Velo Range
74.91 - 77.58
Eff Velocity (avg)
74.78
Spin Rate (max)
2508
Spin Rate (avg)
2415
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %

Northeast Senior Games Connects Szabo With Troy

WHITBY, Ontario - The quest to play college baseball has not been easy for Canadians like Zak Szabo.

“Being in Canada you’re seen by more pro scouts than college scouts so it’s been tough,” the Sinclair High School senior said about issues caused when Covid entered the picture. “Something I’d thought about as a kid was that I wanted to play down south, but I wasn’t sure when Covid would clear to even get looked at by schools down there.”

Adaptations had to be made. Fortunately, the sixth-rated 2022 right-handed pitcher in Canada was invited to the PBR Northeast Senior Games in August.

“It took a lot of money and time for me to go down there, but it was worth it,” Szabo explained about the trip to Pennsylvania that cost “a few thousand dollars” for motel, flights, rental car and Covid rapid testing - before entering the U.S. and again upon heading back to Canada - for both Szabo and his mother. “Eventually, we made it home and I was happy with how everything went.”

No wonder. A college home was found while at the showcase event in Dubois.

“PBR put out a video,” Szabo said of his three-inning performance that included eight strikeouts. “I got a call that night when I was in Pittsburgh and Troy said they saw the video and were very interested. A week later they gave me an offer. After the offer, it was a done deal.”

The coaches in the Sun Belt Conference program came away impressed with the hard-throwing right-hander.

“They like my bulldog mentality,” Szabo noted. “I have the mentality I’m going to go attack. That’s the mentality I have for everything. You can’t be scared in this game.”

PBR was also dazzled with the showing of Szabo.

“Maybe the best performance of the event,” PBR Ontario posted on the website after Szabo combined a fastball sitting 90-91 with a 75-78 slider. “One of the top uncommitted 2022 arms in Canada.”

There were offers from seven D-I schools along with a few JUCOs before Troy became the school of choice.

“Being 6-3, 205 they all say I have room to develop,” Szabo said.

But the 15th-ranked senior in his country found Troy to be right for him.

“I like the coaches, they’re young fiery people,” Szabo noted. “It’s a great place and a great conference. I can go there, compete and get better.”

Until the PBR event in mid-August, Szabo was weighing what to do after not making a trip to the United States since October of 2019 before Covid hit.

“I got invited to that event two weeks prior,” Szabo reflected. “I was thinking about reclassifying and going to the Future Games, but I decided to stay 2022 and went to the Senior Games. I just went out and did my thing and found a school that had enough money for me.”

While Covid limited the travel for Szabo, he did use the time to work on his game.

“I was always a kid that could throw it hard but I had to learn how to pitch,” Szabo explained. “Over Covid I really developed my second and third pitch. My second pitch (slider) is now my best pitch.

“I also got in better shape, that’s another big thing for me. I was 6-2 230 during Covid. I could throw it hard but I’d get gassed. I dropped 30 pounds and now I can go six or seven innings on game day.”

Sport management is the likely major for Szabo, who feels there is a big future at Troy.

“I honestly think going in as a freshman I can compete for a starting job,” related Szabo. “I don’t care how old you are or how good you are. I’m going to go in and compete and see if by junior year I can be ‘the guy’ in the locker room.”

Admittedly, the recruiting process had its ups and downs along the way.

“There were six or seven Division I schools I was considering,” pointed out Szabo. “All the coaches were awesome, but one or two tried to tell me how to do my career and that their program was better and that didn’t hit me in the right way. That was the only negative point. The rest was humbling. To be a kid from Canada and not getting talked about and to then go to one showcase and bam … I’m committed.”

Marshall, Maine and Northern Kentucky were colleges that took an interest in Szabo at the Northeast Senior Games but he sees Troy as the best fit in his baseball journey.

“College has always been a stepping stone in the right direction for me,” Szabo noted. “My dream has not been to play college baseball, it’s been to play professionally. It’s humbling to be able to be committed, but it’s just a stepping stone in the direction to play pro ball.”

A commitment is not about to change Szabo.

“I’m just going to keep working every day,” Szabo concluded. “I have other goals I need to achieve. Next I want to be on the national team. After that, I hope to be drafted next year. In this game, you never stop working.”



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