Name: Donavan Tate
Report Date: 2011 NWL Season (Rookie Level)
Birthplace: Cartersville, GA
Overview: As the 3rd overall draft pick in 2009 – and recipient of a club-record $6.25 mil bonus – Tate has been the source of much frustration for the Padres and those who follow the team. The tools are all there for this young man to be an impact player, but a rash of injuries and off-the-field issues have hampered his development. This is the classic toolsy, high risk, high ceiling player that has just as great of a chance of making the majors as he does burning out in the low minors.
Physical Attributes: Tate is a supreme athlete and his body reflects this. He has a swimmer-like build with long arms and legs that show room for excellent growth on his frame in the future. He has incredible bat speed that is head and shoulders above just about every other player in the Northwest League. The phrase “runs like a gazelle” comes to mind when he runs, as, not only is he incredibly fast, but Tate looks so relaxed and doesn’t seem to exude much effort (not a lack of effort, but his athleticism makes everything seem easy).
Hitting: When Tate was drafted, this was the aspect of his game that drew the most ire. Even though Tate possesses plus bat speed and uses his hands very well, there is still a lot of swing-and-miss to be dealt with. He does avoid some classic flaws that many minor leaguers will show. Tate is always soft on his front side, which allows him to maintain balance throughout his swing. He also keeps his front shoulder in most of the time but is still prone to letting it fly open every now and then. There is some difficulty in judging Tate as a hitter, as he changed his swing following his most recent drug-related suspension.
Before the suspension he hit with an upright stance with movement going on during his loading phase. Tate slotted his hands well by taking them slightly back during his load, which allowed him great length through the hitting zone. When he fired the swing he got excellent hip rotation. Overall this was a very loose, relaxed, and athletic looking swing. This is all apparent in the video below: Continue reading “Padres Prospect Scouting Report: Donavan Tate, CF” »