The Rangers have officially announced the signing of fourth overall pick Dillon Tate, along with the signings of righty Jake Lemoine (fourth round), shortstop Dylan Moore (seventh), righty Blake Bass (eighth), righty Peter Fairbanks (ninth), shortstop Leon Byrd (tenth), and centerfielder Ledarious Clark (12th). All have been assigned to short-season Spokane except Lemoine, who will head to the Arizona Summer League.
Tate will receive a bonus of $4.2MM, as Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets. The pool value of the pick was $5,026,500, so Tate’s signing will save the Rangers over $800K that they can use on later picks, perhaps including third-round pick Michael Matuella, who could command a bonus above his recommended $777,600 allotment. Lemoine, meanwhile, will receive $528K, which is the exact bonus allotment for his pick.
Tate, a 21-year-old junior righty from UC-Santa Barbara, earns high marks for his fastball (which can reach up to 98 MPH) and high-80s slider. MLB.com notes that his curveball isn’t as strong and that his delivery involves a bit of effort, but that Tate seems to have answered questions about whether he’s capable of starting. If in fact he doesn’t work out in that role, his arsenal would seem well suited to bullpen work — Tate excelled as a closer in college before transitioning to the rotation.
Baseball America (subscription-only), meanwhile, ranked Tate the No. 3 prospect in the draft, behind only Brendan Rodgers and Dansby Swanson. BA noted that, as a result of switching from relieving to starting, Tate greatly increased his innings total this year. That might mean the Rangers could be cautious with him as he enters his first pro season. Tate has pitched 103 1/3 innings so far in 2015, with a 2.26 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.