|Report Date:||March 27th, 2018|
Cate was certainly a well-known name heading into 2018. As a standout reliever on Team USA, he impressed with his pitchability, and the strength of his curveball.
Standing 6’1” and 186 pounds, Cate lacks the ideal frame for a starting pitcher, but he’s extremely athletic, and repeats his delivery well. Pitching from a full windup, Cate has a loose, deep arm action, with above-average arm speed, and a high three-quarter arm slot. His fastball sat at 92-to-94 mph through the first three innings, with average sink from its high slot. Evaluators on hand with prior experience with Cate noted that this was some of the highest velocity he’s displayed, as he’s normally previously pitched in the 89-to-92 mph range. His curveball was as good as advertised, coming in from 80-to-83 mph with true 12-to-6 shape and plus action. He showed extreme confidence in the pitch, using it in all counts, spotting for strikes, and burying when going for the punchout. What stands out about his curveball is how it mirrors his fastball out of the hand for the first 20 feet before breaking as it arrives to the plate. It’s easily a plus pitch, and one that can grade higher if he shows improved command and consistency.
Despite the strong performance for Cate, not all indicators during the outing were positive. His velocity began to dip in the fifth inning, bottoming out at 87-to-89 mph in the ninth inning. He also didn’t show a changeup during the game. The lack of a third pitch, combined with the failure to maintain his velocity, and lack of ideal size, makes his future role unclear. Cate has a ceiling as a back end starter, though he may profile better as a late inning reliever, as his velocity plays up in shorter stints.