2019 Level: AA/AAA/MLB
Pitches (current/future value)
Most Likely Future Role: Middle Relief
Ceiling: Set up relief
What we know: Tate made his major league debut last year after getting moved to a relief role and ended up with mixed success at the big league level. Tate brings an above average sinking fastball (92-95), an above average split change, and below average slider that can occasionally flashy average, His main issue is not pure stuff, but consistency and command issues. Major league hitters struggled to barrel up his sinking fastball and changeup at times, but he made too many mistakes in the middle of the plate with his slider and found himself in hitters counts too often. If he can find consistency, he has the pure stuff to be a solid major league reliever.
What we don’t know: Will he find more consistency with his command now that he’ll have a whole spring as a reliever? If he ditched his below average and inconsistent slider, would he be better served as a sinker/split change pitcher?
What we think: Tate will get every opportunity to make the team in the bullpen next spring. While he does have two solid offerings, he will need to find more consistency in his command in order to stick at the big league level.
Another Take: Consistency is the key for Tate, the former 4th overall pick. His mid-90s sinker plays and he has the ability to flash two quality offspeed pitches. The limitation is that he struggles to consistently execute his offspeed pitches, especially the slider. He also has an upper 90s fourseam fastball that he didn’t use in his MLB debut. It could be useful for changing hitters’ eye level as all his other pitches only work down in the zone. Right now he looks like a low end middle reliever who can give you some length. There is the talent for a more impactful role if it can be unlocked with some pitch design and usage changes. (Luke Siler)