Shepherd's signing follows hot on the heels of fellow MLB Australian Academy (MLBAAP) player Lewis Thorpe, who signed with the Minnesota Twins Tuesday.
The seventeen year old shortstop is one of Australia's brightest young stars, on the radar for National Teams and international scouts for some time, Zac bolstered his talent in 2011 and a 2012 signing was inevitable.
Currently training on the Gold Coast at the MLBAAP, Shepherd took his signing in perspective.
"Being signed is another step closer to realising my dream and ultimate goal of playing in the Majors. It takes a lot of hard work to even get to this stage" reflected Shepherd.
The Baulkham Hills junior is not shy under pressure and has received international accolade for his ability on the diamond. In 2011 Zac was named the AA World Cup All-Star Shortstop and Outstanding Defensive Player, but was also fierce at bat for Australia, with 14 hits in his 28 at bats, putting up a batting average of .500, with 8 RBIs and 7 runs.
Not bad for a one-time rugby player who found his calling in baseball after spotting an advert in his local Rouse Hill newspaper ten years ago.
"Playing in the majors is a very long-term goal and it is going to take a lot more hard work and commitment to get there, but it feels good to be another step closer" enthused Shepherd who is clearly elated to be on his way to Spring Training for the Tigers in March.
Shepherd hopes to emulate the US baseball career of his long-time baseball idol and fellow Aussie Luke Hughes (Perth Heat, Oakland Ahtletics).