2018 Mariners MLB Draft Prospect Profile: Tim Cate

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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As we inch closer to June and the MLB Draft, some news regarding the Mariners is beginning to trickle out. The industry believes Seattle is looking for a “quick-moving college” type. Today, we will look at one of these players.

The exact quote regarding the Mariners, from Fangraphs writers Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniels, can be seen below:

"Seattle (14) and Washington (27) are both believed to be looking for quick-moving college types, with the Nationals tied to Stanford RHP Tristan Beck and Kentucky’s 6-foot-11 RHP Sean Hjelle. Seattle was on Denaburg before his injury, but his stock is a question mark until things clear up on that front."

For the full article, head to Fangraphs or by clicking here. There isn’t much shocking about this report, as it has been the M.O. of Mariners under GM Jerry Dipoto. In his first 2 drafts, Dipoto has selected a relatively quick-moving college player in round 1 (Kyle Lewis and Evan White) while using his second-round pick on a high upside high school prospect (Joe Rizzo and Sam Carlson).

This season, the number of college arms that fit this mold are a little limited, but it does present the Mariners with an opportunity to come away with 2 first round talents. How? By “reaching” for a college starter with your first pick and signing him to a below slot deal. If you are unfamiliar with the thought process, click here for an explanation.

Today, we will look at one such type of player: University of Connecticut LHP Tim Cate.

Cate, a diminutive 6’0″, 165 lbs southpaw from UCONN, presents a rather interesting profile. A starter in college but a reliever in the summer leagues, Cate has one of the best pitches in this draft.

Cate has perhaps the best curveball in the class. It has tremendous 12-6 movement. Cate commands it well and is unafraid to use it in any count. The curve is already an MLB quality out pitch.

The rest of the repertoire is a bit of a mixed bag. The fastball sits at 90-92 with more run than sink. Cate can hit 94, but the fastball will flatten out the harder he throws it. In addition, Cate is still working on a changeup, which can be firm at times.

Scouts believe the changeup has shown enough growth that it can be solid-average. Cate’s command is also just average, leading to walking issues on occasion.

Scouting Grade- Fastball: 50 Curveball: 65 Changeup: 45 Command: 50 Overall: 50

Truthfully, Cate is more of a “back of the first round talent”, rather than a guy worthy of pick 14. But if a pre-draft deal can be struck, the Mariners could use the savings to find another first-round talent with the 50th pick.

Next: MLB Draft Prospect Profile: Nick Madrigal

Perhaps Cate is just to big a risk to take at pick 14. Perhaps Seattle will just take the best player on their board, and figure out the rest as the draft progresses. But if the Mariners are serious about taking a fast-moving college type, there is not a ton who will likely be available at pick 14. Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: the MLB Draft is just around the corner.