Want to give the author direct feedback? Follow @TristinM86 on Twitter for more insight.
In this edition, we’ll be highlighting a pitcher for the first time. Right hander Dillon Tate was recently traded to the Baltimore Orioles in a deal that sent All-Star closer Zach Britton to the New York Yankees. What should “Birdland” expect out of their new prospect?
Tate was drafted 4th overall by the Texas Rangers in 2015. He made six minor league appearances in the 2015 season before making 16 starts in 2016. With the Rangers, his fastball velocity really dipped, and everything else went flat. This might explain his 5.12 ERA at the time he was traded to the Yankees in a package for OF Carlos Beltran.
I talked about his play in the New York system in my piece reporting the Britton trade, but I’ll reiterate: Tate went 19-4 across two levels the minors with a 3.09 ERA. His BB/9 went down after heading to the Yankees, as did his K/9. He did see a dip in his K/9 and a rise in his BB/9 in 2017, but both numbers have since rebounded. It is worth noting that the Yankees allowed him to use his college mechanics.
Fangraphs grades his pitches as follows: Fastball 55/55, Slider 55/55, and Changeup 50/55. They grade his command at 40/45 and grade his future value at 45. He has added a two-seamer, which has allowed him to get those ground ball outs. As expected, Tate has induced many more grounders since adding the pitch, getting 141 across two minor leagues last season. He does throw strikes, but he doesn’t miss many bats.
Tate could be used as a starter or reliever. He does have a bit of an injury history, hurting his hamstring in 2016, shoulder in 2017, and quad in 2018. He has since added strength, but his durability remains to be seen.
Tate likely won’t reach the majors this season, unless Baltimore decides to give him a cup of coffee in September. I believe he’ll reach the majors as a reliever, and Baltimore will try to ease him into a rotation spot. He could go on to be a 15-20 game winner in the right situation. If they keep him in the bullpen, he could be an electric set-up man who could close a few games or he could be the closer.
Here are a few highlight videos for those interested:
Photo Credit: New York Post