Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Donavan Tate, CF, Cartersville, GA

Donavan Tate is one of this years best High School talents. He is a superb athlete at 6'2", 205 who has signed a letter of intent to play football at North Carolina. With 4.5 speed in the 40 yard dash and the NFL pedigree from his father Lars Tate.

Tate is a CF who can hit 95 mph on the gun from the outfield. He has plus speed as evidenced with his 40 time and runs a 6.4 in the 60. He also has shown plus raw power at times but has also had a tough time making contact at times. This is where the intrigue for me comes. Speed and power are worthless if you can't make contact and the debate is if the toolshed is worth the risk. The team that will take him may have to expend a top 5 pick to obtain his rights, then deal with Scott Boras to sign him. He has 2 sport leverage, which means he will get more than he would if he was just a baseball player. Xavier Avery, the 2nd round pick for the Orioles last June, comes to mind when I think of Tate. He is a raw tools guy with a lot of upside who also had football leverage and got paid well above slot.

The down side is that he reminds me of Colorado's 2nd round draft pick in 2006, David Christensen who has a career .218 BA and a .381 SLG., who has not lived up to the pre draft buzz.

I think Tate will be a high first round pick, maybe 9th to the Tigers, and be in the 150-180 range in my prospect rankings next season, unless he pulls an Aaron Hicks.

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