Photo credit: UNC Athletics

The Cleveland Guardians selected Angel Zarate – OF in the 17th round (511th overall) in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Angel Zarate – OF

School: North Carolina
Age: 23; Ht: 5’11; Wt: 190
Bats: Left; Throws: Left

Pre-Draft Rankings:

GBI – rounds 11-15
Baseball America – NR
Prospects Live – 206
Perfect Game – 351

Willie Hood’s Analysis:

A fifth-year player, Zarate started his collegiate career in 2018. He redshirted his freshman year. Returning his redshirt freshman (2019) season he played in 11 games receiving just 10 at-bats. As a redshirt sophomore in 2020, he had his season cut short by Covid, but appeared on the verge of a break-out season. Zarate slashed .408/.477/.493 with 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 5 steals. In 2021, returning for his fourth season as a redshirt sophomore, he hit .324/.424/.497 with 7 doubles, 3 triples, 6 homers, and 3 stolen bases. Back again in 2022 as a fifth-year redshirt junior, Zarate continued to produce, hitting .352/.425/.500 with 19 doubles, 1 triple, 7 homers, and 4 stolen bases.

The left-handed-hitting outfielder has baseball bloodlines, he is the son of a professional player in Mexico. Zarate is athletic, a former soccer and football player in high school. He was widely considered one of the better hitters in the country entering the season, with excellent contact skills, and strike zone awareness he will finish his collegiate career with 72 career walks (11.18 BB%) to 72 career strikeouts (11.18%). On the bases, Zarate doesn’t maximize his speed with stolen bases but he displays above-average speed. Defensively, he’s experienced all around the outfield with the speed to handle all three spots and enough arm strength to handle center and left and fill-in in right field when needed. Zarate should see a full-season affiliate next season (Lake County). While his development ceiling is limited his on-base skills, defense, and versatility give him a high floor, and he should progress quickly once in pro ball. The North Carolina native is expected to officially sign in the coming days.

Press release:

A Reidsville, North Carolina product, Zarate has completed five seasons at UNC, most recently starting all 64 games for the
Tar Heels as a redshirt junior in 2022, slashing .352/.425/.500 while leading the ACC with 100 hits (sixth-most in nation) to
earn third team All-ACC and All-ACC Tournament team honors. He opened the year with a 24-game hit streak and became
just the ninth player in program history to reach the century mark for hits in a single season…over 151 games at UNC, Zarate
produced a .341/.424/.485 clip with 113 runs scored, 30 doubles, five triples, 13 homers, 90 RBI and 12 stolen bases,
drawing 73 walks while striking out 72 times. Prior to his illustrious collegiate career, he attended Rockingham County High
School (Reidsville, NC).

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