Photo Courtesy: Bowie Photo

Get To Know The Baby Birds: Dillon Tate

February 11, 2019 - 6:19 pm

By Austin Medina 

The Orioles stockpiled prospects at last year’s trade deadline to prepare for the future.

Among the trades that included star Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, the Orioles acquired three prospects when they traded closer Zach Britton to the New York Yankees.

Tate played a majority of 2017 and all of 2018 at the double-A level. Before coming to the Orioles, Tate produced a 5-2 record with a 3.38 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 15 starts with the Trenton Thunder.

Tate struggled after the trade to Baltimore, as he went 2-3 in seven starts with the Bowie Baysox. Tate couldn’t find way to finish batters off, as he surrendered 48 hits and nine walks in 40.2 innings pitched.

There have been delivery concerns with Tate since the Texas Rangers drafted him in 2015. The Rangers worked with him yet their efforts fell on deaf ears. Tate lost speed on his fastball and his secondary pitches were negatively impacted.

The trade to New York sparked Tate back to his full potential but it appears that time will help him in Baltimore. His production saw increases shortly after being traded to New York, so ideally his woes in Bowie were based on an adjustment curve.

In an article from Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, Tate spoke on how he has approached this offseason ahead of the 2019 season. He credits alot of his past success (particularly with the Trenton Thunder) to watching slow-motion cameras to evaluate his hand-placement. 

"I felt like a lot of stuff that I learned happened with the slow-motion cameras, so I could really see what my hand is doing and I could see what the rest of my body is doing and how I'm moving, and as the pitch is going toward home," Tate said.

Strength and availability are two imperative aspects to look forward to in the months to come. Tate has battled injuries the past three seasons, including injuries to his hamstring (2016), shoulder (2017), and quads (2018).

The big question remains if Tate can take a leap in spring training to see promtions to Triple-A and eventually to the bigs.