|Report Date:||March 21st, 2018|
Listed at 6’0’’ and 195 pounds this summer, Gates looks like he has put on weight and filled out more since then. He pitches from a herky-jerky full windup, and while his mechanics aren’t picturesque, he’s able to repeat his delivery. His deep arm action gives some funk and deception to his delivery, and a closed front side shows the ball late to a hitter before he releases from a high three-quarters slot.
Gates held an 89-to-91 mph fastball late into the March 16th outing. There isn’t much life on his fastball, though he compensates a bit by being able to spot it to both sides of the plate. He spins a hard curveball with flashes of sharp 1-to-7 tilt and moderate depth. Gates showed a low-80s changeup frequently to right-handed bats, though he allowed hard contact on the pitch when he didn’t bury it low in the strike zone. He rounds out his arsenal with a slider at 82-to-84 mph, and it’s impressive to see a high school pitcher with this level of aptitude for numerous pitches.
A shorter lefty who will have to hit spots in order to have success, Gates doesn’t have the sexiest profile. That said, he gets guys out and has advanced feel to pitch. The ceiling is that of a backend starter, though this type of toolset is a risky one that’s fairly generic across the minors.