Draft profile: Dillon Tate
*** With the 2015 First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. *** Draft profiles
Name: Dillon Tate
School: UC Santa Barbara
Rank on Draft Top 100: 2
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6'2" Weight: 185 lbs.
Previously Drafted: Never
Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale
30: Well below average
40: Below average
60: Above average
70-80: Well above average
Innings pitched: 95 1/3
Noting Tate's projectable frame and easy arm action when he was working in the upper 80s as a high school senior in 2012, scouts figured he could make a big velocity jump after moving on to UC Santa Barbara. He pitched just three innings as a freshman before taking that huge step forward in 2014, putting him in position to become the first Gaucho ever drafted in the top two rounds. His stock took another leap in 2015 as Santa Barbara's ace, becoming the best college arm in the Draft class.
Tate showed the best stuff in the U.S. collegiate national team's stellar bullpen during the summer. He pairs a 92-98 mph fastball with a sharp 86-87 mph slider. He mixes in a fringy curveball and his changeup has the chance to be above-average as well. Tate missed more bats in 2015 than he had previously.
Though there's considerable effort in Tate's delivery, it also provides deception, and he's proven to scouts this year he can start, with his athleticism translating into durability.
MLB comp: Dave Stewart
Fun fact: Tate told the Daily Nexus -- UCSB's student newspaper -- that he listens to the same Rick Ross song, '9 Piece,' before every game.
They said it: He has an extremely muscular, athletic frame. That's been the biggest reason he went from an also-ran in the bullpen to one of the best young pitchers in the country. ... He's extremely competitive, both on the mound and in the weight room. -- Andrew Wagner, UCSB Baseball Communications Director
Quote from his coach: Dillon is a wonderful kid. From a baseball standpoint, he has come from almost nothing into one of the top pitchers in the country. His work habits have allowed him to blossom into a premier right-hander, and the fact that he's attained this success is not a surprise whatsoever. -- Andrew Checketts, UCSB head baseball coach