Outfielder Donavan Tate, the Padres’ 2009 first-round pick taken third overall, did not show up at Minor League camp. Via the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Tate, the outfielder signed by the Padres for $6.5 million as the No. 3 overall pick of 2009, informed the club that he will not be reporting on time with the rest of the minor league position players on Friday. Tate’s reason for not showing in Peoria was described by the club as “personal.”
Tate hit just .226 overall between Single-A Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore, stealing 21 bases but with a disappointing 60 percent success rate. His career has been besieged by injuries and suspensions — most memorably, he was suspended in June 2011 for his second positive test for a drug of abuse (i.e. not performance-enhancers).
22 years old without even a taste of Double-A, and now a no-show at Padres camp, Tate’s career takes an even more disappointing turn. Padres VP Randy Smith suggested that Tate needs to work on being a better person before he can become a better ballplayer.
The two players taken ahead of Tate in the 2009 draft, Stephen Strasburg and Dustin Ackley, have enjoyed at least a modicum of success at the Major League level.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.