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Tim Cate Leads Top MLB Draft Prospects From Connecticut

1. Tim Cate, LHP, Connecticut (BA Rank: 54)
4YR • Jr. • 6-0 • 167 • L-L •

A diminutive lefthander, Cate has put up two and a half impressive seasons as a starter with Connecticut. He posted a 2.73 ERA in 13 starts during his freshman season, followed by a 3.33 mark in 12 starts as a sophomore and recorded a 3.70 ERA through seven starts this spring before being sidelined with an elbow-related injury. Listed at just 6-foot, 167 pounds, Cate has a stronger lower half than might be expected, but with thin shoulders and hips. He has a three-pitch mix that features an average fastball, a curveball that is plus or better and a changeup that’s thrown infrequently but has been solid. His fastball was in the 92-93 mph range early in the season and up to 94 before dropping into the 89-91 mph range as the spring progressed. The curveball is what gets teams excited, as the pitch is a hammer in the upper 70s and lower 80s. Cate has exceptional feel to land his breaking ball in the zone and bury it for swings and misses. His size is a concern and some teams look at Cate as pitcher who might have to move to the bullpen eventually. His injury this spring does him no favors—and he already has a Tommy John surgery on his resume from his high school days—but he is expected to return to the mound in early May, when scouts will try and get a few last-minute looks before the draft.

2. Ryan Cusick, RHP, Avon (Conn.) Old Farms HS (BA Rank: 235)
HS • 6-6 • 225 • R-R •

Listed at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, Cusick is a strong, physical righthander who received positive reviews for remaking his body over the winter. Cusick’s fastball has touched 97 mph in the past, although he more regularly sits in the 92-94 mph range. He shows feel for a slider, although the pitch remains inconsistent. Cusick’s control is currently below-average and his overall feel to pitch is lacking. He has a starter’s build, but scouts see him more as a reliever right now. He is committed to Wake Forest, where developing his offspeed offerings and improving his command should be his primary focuses.

3. Zac Susi, C, Connecticut (BA Rank: 326)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 207 • L-R •

A big, physical catcher with some defensive skill, Susi has hit well this spring in his third year with Connecticut, with a career-best .330/.401/.401 triple slash. Currently with below-average power, Susi profiles as a backup catcher and has an above-average arm and terrific work ethic behind the dish. He’s gotten thicker this spring, and somes scouts have said his defensive ability has backed up because of that, so he’ll need to monitor his weight moving forward. Offensively, Susi has some bat-to-ball skills and a good idea of the strike zone—he’s walked 10.6 percent of the time in three years with Connecticut compared to a 13.4 percent strikeout rate—but a slow bat. Last summer Susi had a decent showing in the Cape Cod League, with a .267/.360/.427 triple slash and 11 walks to 18 strikeouts in 23 games.

4. Patrick Winkel, C/3B, Amity Regional Senior HS, Woodbridge, Conn. (BA Rank: 331)
HS •  6-2 • 185 • L-R •

Winkel is an advanced defender for a high school catcher, with impressive catch and throw skills and a history of handling top-tier arms without much of a problem. He has solid-average arm strength, but makes accurate throws consistently, with a solid transfer and good footwork. A lefthanded hitter, Winkel has also shown some feel to hit, but adjusted his swing path this spring and scouts have been a bit disappointed with the results. He transitioned to an uphill bat path with a pull-oriented approach that he hasn’t quite figured out. Given his physicality and present strength scouts believe there is power to come in the future, but he’ll either need another swing adjustment or more time refining his new approach. A Connecticut commit, Winkel is expected to be a tough sign.

5. Michael Burrows, RHP/3B, Waterford (Conn.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
HS •  6-2 • 185 • R-R •

6. Hudson Haskin, OF, Avon (Conn.) Old Farms HS (BA Rank: N/A)
HS •  6-1 • 195 • R-R •

7. Dillon Lifrieri, OF, Wilton (Conn.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
HS •  6-1 • 190 • R-R •

8. Jimmy Sullivan, OF, Wethersfield (Conn.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
HS •  6-4 • 195 • L-L •

9. Chase Gardner, LHP, Connecticut (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-7 • 242 • L-L •

10. P.J. Poulin, LHP, Connecticut (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-1 • 186 • R-L •

11. Ronnie Rossomando, RHP, Connecticut (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-5 • 237 • R-R •

12. John Toppa, OF, Connecticut (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-0 • 209 • R-R •

13. Billy DeVito, RHP, Hartford (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-4 • 210 • R-R •

14. Scott Politz, RHP, Yale (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 205 • R-R •

15. Ashton Bardzell, OF, Hartford (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 200 • R-R •

16. Griffin Dey, 1B, Yale (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 220 • R-R •

17. Seth Pinkerton, RHP, Hartford (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-2 • 230 • R-R •

18. Dean Lockery, 2B, Central Connecticut State (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Sr. • 5-11 • 185 • L-R •

19. Spencer Oliver, RHP, Daniel Hand HS, Madison, Conn. (BA Rank: N/A)
HS • – • 6-4 • 210 • R-R •

20. George Emmet Sheehan, RHP, Salisbury (Conn.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
HS • – • 6-5 • 195 • R-R •

. Brandon White, RHP, Simsbury (Conn.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
HS • – • 6-1 • 170 • B-R •

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