July 16, 2015
- Read the June issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone/iPad app!
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye Android app!
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa graduate Taylor Zeutenhorst credits the UI baseball program for giving his professional baseball career a chance.
Zeutenhorst, a 38th round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2014, is in his second professional season, where he is competing for the Clinton LumberKings. Clinton is in the Class A Midwest League.
“Coming out of high school, I wasn’t ready to play professional baseball,” said Zeutenhorst. “I got four years of the college experience, plus my degree. Playing at Iowa helped a lot, and playing under (UI head coach) Rick Heller helped me with hitting and fixing my swing. It really gave my career a chance.”
Zeutenhorst has played in 54 games in two stops during the 2015 season. He started the year playing eight games for the Bakersfield Blaze in California before being promoted to the LumberKings in Clinton, Iowa.
The outfielder is hitting .223 in 54 games with 20 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He has eight doubles and two home runs for a team that is 31-58 overall.
“We’re struggling, but we’re taking it one day and one pitch at a time,” said Zeutenhorst. “We’re still having fun and trying to get better individually. If we do that, we’ll win some games.”
Playing in the Seattle organization, Zeutenhorst is thankful for the opportunity to compete in his home state. Even if it is a nearly six hour drive from Sheldon, Iowa — his hometown.
“This is one of our only affiliates where my parents can still come to some games,” said Zeutenhorst. “It’s doable for them to drive. I have other family in Iowa as well, so it’s nice to play in state.”
A year into his professional baseball career, Zeutenhorst is enjoying the grind of playing in the minors.
“It’s a lot better than being in the real work force,” he said. “It’s still a job, and we come to the field every day and work hard. It is fun for me, I enjoy it.”
Zeutenhorst is one of nine Iowa baseball players active in Minor League Baseball. Click HERE to track their career progress.