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After breakout season, Zach Dezenzo carries power into Arizona Fall League

Houston Astros' Zach Dezenzo
Zach Dezenzo | Credit: Chris Coduto/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Zach Dezenzo rode the excitement of a first full season to new heights. Dezenzo, who the Houston Astros selected in the 12th round of the 2022 MLB Draft, clubbed his way to Double-A Corpus Christi in his second year, finding himself in the Arizona Fall League to round out 2023.

Dezenzo put himself on the map with his bat. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound righty overpowered South Atlantic League pitching, posting an 1.102 OPS with 11 doubles and four home runs in 31 games for High-A Asheville.

“I definitely had to have the mindset of more doubles and just let the homers happen on themselves,” Dezenzo said Oct. 6, courtesy of MLB. “I actually didn’t end up hitting a home run in Asheville. I hit four home runs in High-A, and all four were on the road when I was there. So just trying to stay within myself, not trying to do too much, just hit those doubles to the gaps.”

The Ohio State product credited Tourists hitting coach Bryan Muniz for his advancements in his swing and overall approach. He hit himself into a promotion come late May, becoming the second position player from the Astros’ 2022 draft class to land in Double-A.

Even in the Texas League, it was the same game for Dezenzo. He saw upticks in pitch velocity with more ride and break, but he managed to still produce. The righty slashed .257/.339/.486 with 12 doubles and 14 home runs in 63 games, falling two round trippers short of a 20-20 season after collecting 26 stolen bases between two levels.

“Just to be the best version of myself is always the expectation,” Dezenzo said. “I think that the work that I put in this offseason and the confidence that I have in myself really showed the true baseball player that I am that I can compete and I belong at this level, regardless of what round I was picked in or what other people have to say about me.”

After 32 games with the Hooks, Dezenzo missed nearly three weeks for an undisclosed matter. He returned with full force, connecting on 12 home runs in his final 40 games. The 23 year old carried over that power into October with four doubles and two home runs in his first 12 games for the Mesa Solar Sox.

Dezenzo’s assignment to the AFL provides the Astros an additional assessment before non-roster invites are handed out this winter. For Dezenzo, the following weeks could springboard him into that conversation, although he’s likely already a part of it.

“Looking at Houston and just the winning culture that they have there, it’s exciting to see that,” Dezenzo said. “I’m starting to get a little bit of a feel for what that could potentially be like for me, and I would love nothing more but to contribute and help out with that winning culture up there.”

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