Baseball America’s Jim Callis on the Padres third round selection Zack Cates:
No. 79 on our overall Top 200. Have to read your reports at baseballamerica.com so you can get info like this:
Undrafted out of an Arkansas high school in 2008 and bypassed again at Northeast Texas CC last year, Cates won’t be overlooked a third time. He spent most of his freshman season as a catcher, standing out for his strong arm and working just seven innings on the mound. A strong fall as a pitcher landed him on follow lists, and he has steadily risen up draft boards this spring. His fastball ranges from 90-93 mph to 95-97, and there should be more consistent velocity in his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. For an inexperienced pitcher, he has a relatively advanced changeup, which grades out as a better pitch than his curveball. His curve does have its moments, and he could have an easy plus fastball with two solid secondary pitches once he develops. His command and control still need work, but neither is a red flag. He’s a tough competitor. Cates hasn’t committed to a four-year school for 2010 and should be signable.
PNR Scouting rated Cates at 80 on their top 300 draft board.