After selecting right-hander Mason Denaburg with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals selected Tim Cate (LHP) out of the University of Connecticut with the 65th pick.
Cate had Tommy John surgery in high school, and dealt with forearm tightness this Spring, but MLB.com’s scouting report noted that the lefty, “... might have the best breaking ball in the entire Draft class, the kind of 12-to-6 hammer he could tell hitters was coming during his sophomore year and they still couldn’t put it in play. He throws it from the same plane as his fastball so effectively, hitters never have a chance to pick it up well.”
Cate, 20, is a 6’1’’, 186 lb southpaw, who was ranked 62nd overall on MLB Pipeline’s list of the Top 200 prospects for this year’s draft. He went (5-4) in 11 games (seven starts) for the Huskies this season with a 2.91 ERA, 19 walks, 67 Ks, and a .258 BAA in 52 2⁄3 IP.
He pitched for the USA Collegiate National Team for two straight summers in 2016-17 as his UConn bio notes, and threw three no-hitters in his high school career.
#Nationals select LHP Tim Cate out of the University of Connecticut with the 65th overall selection of the #MLBDraft— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) June 5, 2018
Video is of this season, pitching in March against USF. @federalbaseball @TalkNats2 pic.twitter.com/XjF8sVg78T
“Cate isn’t the biggest guy in the world at 6 feet,” the MLB scouting report states, “... and concern about overuse during his time at UConn certainly wasn’t assuaged with his 2018 injury,” though they add that, “if healthy, he’s one of the better college lefties in the class.”
The 65th overall pick is valued at $986,200. That makes two pitchers for the Nationals on Day 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft.
Both GM Mike Rizzo and Asst. GM and VP of Baseball Ops Kris Kline will talk to reporters at 10:00 AM tomorrow morning before the Draft starts back up.
“Tim Cate is an advanced collegiate starter who gained even more experience playing with Team USA for two summers,” Kline said in a press release on the selection tonight.
“He has one of the best left-handed curveballs in the Draft to go along with a really good fastball. He is a strike thrower with good, smooth delivery.”
Check back for their full takes on the Nationals’ top two picks...