UC Santa Barbara ace Dillon Tate has the respect of his teammates. (Shotgun Spratling)

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Dillon Tate’s Work Ethic Garners Respect

UC Santa Barbara junior righthander Dillon Tate could be the top overall pick this June. But if you saw him around the ball field with a dress shirt and slacks, Dillon Tate could also be mistaken for a statistical analyst hired to find a new trend to help the team.

[pull_quote_right]“The thing that sets Dillon apart is his competitiveness,” outfielder Luke Swenson said. “He always wants to win. He doesn’t worry about the draft or how hard he’s throwing, every Friday night he goes out there he competes to help his team win.”[/pull_quote_right]

As soon as you clasped hands for a power handshake that seems to run in the family, you would know differently, but from afar Tate appears to be an unassuming 20-year-old. He doesn’t really fit the mold of a flamethrowing pitcher that could be in line for millions this summer. He wears glasses and would prefer to tamp the mound than talk to the media. He’s more Henry Rowengartner than Ricky Vaughn.

But once he steps on the mound and trades his dark, thin-rimmed frames for a pair of vibrant white Rec Specs that he said he’s been rocking since he was an 11- or 12-year old little leaguer, Tate is a fierce competitor constantly looking to improve himself.

And that’s exactly what his Santa Barbara teammates love about him.

“The thing that sets Dillon apart is his competitiveness,” outfielder Luke Swenson said. “He always wants to win. He doesn’t worry about the draft or how hard he’s throwing, every Friday night he goes out there he competes to help his team win.”

Rather than searching out his radar readings after the game, one of the first things Tate does following an outing is search out his father Anthony for film of his performance to see what he did right and wrong, looking for the slightest changes in his delivery or the release of the ball. It’s a routine he’s had since high school.


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