By Robert Held
The New Britain Bees have had a third player signed away from them by a Major League Baseball team this season. Pitcher and Connecticut native Josh Zeid, has been signed by the New York Mets.
“Zeid has been a great part of our rotation this season and a consummate professional on and off the field,” said Bees Manager Stan Cliburn. “We wish him the absolute best with the Mets organization.”
While playing for the Bees, Zeid made eight appearances for the team. Seven of those appearances were as a starting pitcher. During those starts, Zeid had 43 strikeouts in 47.2 innings.
Zeid follows fellow pitchers Eric Fornataro, who was signed by the Baltimore Orioles, and Nick Greenwood, who was signed by the Minnesota Twins. As the third player to leave the Bees Zeid can try to work his way back to the major league level. For now, Zeid will report to the Binghamton Mets, New York’s double-A team.
“I am excited to not only see a local Connecticut player get another shot at the major leagues, but he is also getting a chance to play for my favorite team, the Mets,” said Felicia Marino, a Manchester resident.
In 2013, Zeid made his Major League Baseball debut with the Houston Astros. Now 28, Zeid has appeared in 48 games at the major league level, all with the Astros. He struggled in the two seasons he played in the majors before being sidelined by several foot surgeries in 2014. In 2015, he was signed by the Detroit Tigers, but spent the entire season with their Triple-A team, the Toledo Mud Hens. He was signed by the Bees on April 7th of this year.
A native of New Haven, Zeid was named the 2004 Gatorade Connecticut High School Player of the Year. While in high school Zeid attended Hamden Hall Country Day School, where he set a school record with 400 strikeouts. Besides pitching, he also played first base, shortstop and center field. In his sophomore year, Zeid played on the gold-medal-winning Team USA Youth National Team.
Before graduating in 2005, Zeid led Hamden Hall to two consecutive New England Championships. His record in high school was 54-15, and in his last two seasons, Zeid struck out 198 batters in 107 innings, with an ERA below 2.00, while batting over .400 along with being team captain.
Baseball America ranked Zeid as the 27th best prospect after his high school graduation. In 2010, Zeid was named a South Atlantic League midseason All-Star and won the MLB Best Reliever Award for Class A – Full Season.
Baseball was not Zeid’s only sport at Hamden Hall. While there, he also earned two varsity letters in basketball. Zeid played his first two years of college baseball at Vanderbilt University before transferring and playing his final two years of college at Tulane. In 2009, he was drafted during the 10th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.