Pop is the 250th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former St. Cloud Rox pitcher Zach Pop, made his Major League debut for the Miami Marlins on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Pop is the 250th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Pop, who played collegiately at the University of Kentucky, played for the St. Cloud Rox in 2015. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 7th round of the 2017 MLB draft.
In 2015 with the Rox, Pop appeared in nine games and was 5-2 with a 2.55 ERA. He struck out 40 batters in 49.1 innings.
Pop began his professional career in 2017 with the Dodgers rookie level team in the Arizona League. He pitched in five games and allowed no runs or hits in 5.0 innings of work.
In 2018 Pop started the season with the Great Lakes Loons of the Lo-A Midwest League. After 11 games in Great Lakes, he was promoted to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the Hi-A California League. On July 18, Pop was traded to the Baltimore Orioles along with Breyvic Valera, Dean Kremer, Yusniel Diaz, and Rylan Bannon in exchange for Manny Machado. He would then finish out the season with the Bowie Baysox of the AA Eastern League. For the season he was a combined 2-3 with a 1.53 ERA. He struck out 64 batters in 64.2 innings while walking only 19 and he had a .897 WHIP.
Pop started the 2019 season with Bowie where he appeared in eight games and was 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA. He struck out 11 batters in 10.2 innings and walked four. On May 14, he underwent Tommy John surgery, and missed the rest of the 2019 season.
Pop was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft in December. Shortly after, he was traded to the Miami Marlins in exchange for a player to be named later.
After making the Marlins Opening Day roster, Pop made his Major League debut against the Tampa Bay Rays. He would enter the game in the 6th inning in relief of former Green Bay Bullfrog Adam Cimber and pitch one inning not allowing a hit or a run.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.