Donavan Tate

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Donavan Tate

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Donavan Tate was the #3 pick of the 2009 amateur draft.

Tate played for the US junior national team in the 2008 World Junior Championship, hitting .292/.419/.375 with 5 steals in 5 tries as the USA won Silver. He was taken by the San Diego Padres with the third pick in the 2009 amateur draft, following collegians Stephen Strasburg and Dustin Ackley. He had a football scholarship at the University of North Carolina available if he opted not to sign. He did agree to sign with the Padres and scout Ash Lawson, but in return for $6.25 million, the highest signing bonus ever offered by the team.

Tate has battled through injuries since turning pro. He made his pro debut on June 21, 2010 for the AZL Padres, going 0 for 5 with two whiffs. He hit .222/.336/.344 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 25 games his first professional season. He also struck out 41 times in 90 at-bats. Baseball America still rated him as the 6th-best prospect in the Arizona League, trailing Guillermo Pimentel only among outfielders.

After only 6 games with the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2011, he suffered a knee injury in an outfield collision. He had previously dealt with a concussion, a broken jaw and facial lacerations from an off-field all-terrain vehicle accident, a sports hernia, a sprained left shoulder, a thumb injury and a viral illness. This is why he did not make his debut until 2010, and played so little his first season.

In 2011, he was suspended for 50 games on June 28th after a second positive drug test. He had recently completed a round of substance abuse counseling following his first positive test; however, he was credited with 25 games served while undergoing counseling, as the second test had presumably taken place before the counseling began. He had recently started to play again with the Eugene Emeralds, after his early-season knee injury, hitting .286 in 11 games, when the suspension kicked in. Needless to say, all of the interruptions to his career have stunted his development as a player. He never made hit higher than Class A: he missed all of 2014 with an injury, then in 2015 hit only .211 in 95 games for the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League. The Padres gave up on him at that point and he played in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 2016. The results were disappointing again, with a batting average of .143 in10 games for two teams.

In May of 2017, he announced that he was walking away from baseball at 26 to attend the University of Arizona where he was slated to play quarterback.

Tate's father Lars was a running back in the NFL.

Further reading[edit]

  • Chris Landers: "Former top prospect Donavan Tate has committed to play football at the University of Arizona", "Cut 4",, May 5, 2017. [1]

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