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3.91 San Diego Padres - Zach Cates, RHP, Northeast Texas CC

The Padres spent the 91st overall pick on Zach Cates.

Follow the jump for his pre-draft report.

Zach Cates   Position: RHP   School: Northeast Texas JC   State: TX   Year: So.   Height: 6’4’’   Weight: 220
Birth Date: 12/17/89   Seiler Rating: 1C3   Commitment: Oklahoma State   Last Drafted: Never

Year

W

L

ERA

G

GS

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

2009

1

0

2.57

3

 

0

7.0

2

2

2

 

6

10

2010

7

2

2.54

13

 

0

67.1

45

26

19

 

32

91


Zach Cates is a fast-rising right-handed pitcher from Northeast Texas Community College. Cates is originally from Conway High School in Conway, Arkansas, a town about 30 miles north of Little Rock. He came to NTCC as a two-way player, and he was forced into action as the starting catcher as a freshman due to an injury to the starter, meaning he was limited to seven mop-up innings in relief on the mound. However, he moved into a full-time pitching role this spring, and the result has been absolute domination as a starter. Blessed with a natural pro body and a projectable frame, he has seen his stuff mature into a mid-rotation starter’s arsenal, though he still has work to do with his command and control, which are understandably below-average due to his lack of experience with pitching. His fastball is easily his best current pitch, and it’s already plus, sitting 93-95 in most outings, touching 97 a few times late in the spring. His changeup is his best secondary pitch, and it gets above-average grades with good late fade. His curveball is more of a fringe-average pitch with potential to be simply average with time, but with two above-average pitches, scouts aren’t as reliant on him developing that third pitch, though it would be nice. He has upside as a number three starter, which is quite good at the junior college level, and there have been whispers about him becoming a supplemental first round pick, though he fits better in the second or third rounds, where he should be signable.