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.