Thursday, April 9, 2015

Potential #1 MLB draft pick was almost a HarbourCat

Dillon Tate
Prior to their inaugural season, the Victoria HarbourCats signed four freshmen pitchers from the UCSB Gauchos, including an unheralded right-hander by the name of Dillon Tate. Fast forward two years and Tate now has a decent chance of being the first overall pick in this June’s MLB draft.

Unfortunately for Victoria baseball fans, Tate chose not to report to the HarbourCats for the summer of 2013 and we never had a chance to see him pitch. According to a very interesting article by Kendall Rogers on, UCSB coach Andrew Checketts wanted Tate to play summer baseball (in Victoria) and refine his repertoire after a rocky freshman season, but Tate decided to spend the time working out at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California instead. According to Rogers, Tate added 30-40 pounds of muscle over the summer and the rest is history.

Thanks to Checketts’ leadership over the last few years, the Gauchos have evolved into the 11th-ranked team in Division I baseball and they’re poised to make some noise in the upcoming NCAA Baseball Tournament. In a tournament that is usually full of surprises, the underdog story of Dillon Tate will be well worth keeping an eye on.

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