Donavan Tate

Well, it’s official now. The Padres have selected Donavan Tate, a high school centerfielder from Georgia. The pick is a bit of a departure from the Padres usual strategy of drafting signable college players. The price tag on Tate is rumored to be around $6 million+. While I have faith the Padres will get him signed, I’m not sure the process will be smooth.

On the field, Tate is an all around player, an ath-a-lete’s athlete. By all reports I’ve seen, his fielding is highly regarded. He should be able to stick in center. He also has good power. The biggest question mark, aside from signability, seems to be his bat, and whether or not he’ll hit for a high enough average to be an effective major leaguer.

If you like comparisons, some guys that make sense to me are Chris Young (Arizona version), Mike Cameron, and maybe a Cameron Maybin. Certainly, he’s a potential high-impact player. Of course, with that comes a pretty decent risk, a decent chance that he’ll flop or won’t live up to expectations.

Overall, however, I like the pick. $6 million seems like a lot for an unproven kid, but the chances of him being worth far more than that a few years down the line make him too tough to pass up.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by podpeople on June 9, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I really dig your journalistic style, keep it churning my brother.

    I’m quite interested to see how quickly Tate, if he does sign, progresses through the system. If he is as good as they say he is, he should make short work of the lower levels.

    whats your opinion?

  2. Posted by Myron on June 9, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks, podpeople!

    My guess is that it takes him a good 3-4 years, at least, to entrench himself in the bigs, if all goes according to plans.

    There’s a chance that he really rolls, and makes it in a couple of years. And there’s of course a chance that he struggles, and takes 5+ (or doesn’t make it). But, yeah, I’d guess, conservatively, 3-4 years.

    It sounds like he still has a lot to learn.

  3. Posted by Myron on June 10, 2009 at 2:18 am

    The more I think about it — and read about Tate — the more I’m thinking “3-4 years” is a little fast. If everything worked out great, and Tate really excelled, maybe … but 4-5 is probably more likely … heck, I don’t know.

    It’ll be fun following him, though.

  4. [...] that is second-hand information and it creates unreasonable expectations. (If you’re curious, Myron offers a few comps at Another Padres Blog.) The range falls between guys that enjoyed modest success at the big-league [...]

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