The San Diego Padres have now signed seven of their top ten picks from the 2010 draft, as they announced the signing of third round pitcher Zach Cates yesterday:

The Padres have agreed to terms with Northeast Texas CC righthander Zach Cates for $765,000, the largest bonus paid out in the third round so far this year. It’s also more than double MLB’s recommendation of $380,700 for his No. 91 draft slot.

Cates spent most of his 2009 freshman season as a catcher and pitched just seven innings before blossoming on the mound as a sophomore. His fastball ranged from 90-93 to 95-97 mph, and he also showed a relatively advanced changeup. His curveball flashes some promise as well. He would have transferred to Oklahoma State had he not turned pro.

The Padres have also signed eighth round pick Jose Dore, an outfielder from Florida (and a Florida State commit) for $450,000, three times the recommended slot.

The deadline to sign draft picks is tomorrow at 11:59PM (EST) and the Padres still haven’t signed their first pick RHP Karsten Whitson, their sixth round pick RHP John Barbato, or their seventh round selection RHP A.J.  Vanegas.

Whitson is a consensus premium talent and he’s expected to sign. Barbato and Vanegas have always had signability issues, as they both fell to the Padres due to their commitments to Florida and Stanford, respectively.

It has been nice to see the Padres (1) draft premium talent over the last couple of years and (2) sign most of those picks, going over slot to do so. Hopefully we will see the trend continue tomorrow with the Padres inking Whitson, Barbato, and Vanegas to deals.

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