If you watch Dillon Tate on the mound in 2015, it is easy to see why he is considered one of the very best prospects in the country. Had you seen him as recently as last year, that would have been quite a stretch. Muscle-bound and supremely athletic, Tate is in the midst of his first college campaign as a starting pitcher, and has taken to the role as well as anyone could possibly expect.
Coming packaged in a maxed-out 6'2", 200 lb frame, Tate is a lean, mean pitching machine with little to no bad weight and elite athleticism. His delivery is what I'd call big, but his arm action is fairly clean and he keeps consistent timing pitch to pitch. He explodes toward home plate with a high leg kick and drives with his lower half, which combined with his fantastic arm speed, produces consistent premium velocity. Tate throws between 92-96 with his fastball as a starter, and gets arm side run on it as well. He locates fastballs to the corners and is just as capable of spotting a pitch for a called third strike as he is fooling a hitter into swinging out of his shoes.
Tate's offspeed stuff is also of a major league caliber. His best secondary offering is a tight, 83-84 slider with two-plane break that plays excellently off of his fastball. The slider has sharp, consistent shape and Tate shows an ability to command it for strikes or use it as a swing-and-miss offering out of the zone. On top of his dynamic fastball-slider combo, Tate also shows a strong changeup that is ahead of those of most of his peers, with some nice sink and fade. Though he's in just his first year as a starting pitcher, Tate looks pretty far along in his development and is sporting some major league ready stuff. Unsurprisingly, he has been dominant for UCSB, with a 77/20 K/BB ratio and 1.57 ERA in 74 and 2/3 IP for the Gauchos.
Based on 2015 performance, Tate projects as a frontline starter in the major leagues.
Projected Draft Round
Tate is expected to be drafted extremely early, and is considered by some to be the front runner to be selected #1 overall. He is a virtual lock for the top five.
Will He Sign?