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


Best Of D1: Dillon Tate’s Work Ethic Garners Respect (2015)


Editor’s Note: The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 college baseball season, so we’re digging through our archives and re-posting some of the best work of D1Baseball’s first five years, highlighting some of college baseball’s biggest stars and most compelling storylines. Today, we present Shotgun Spratling’s 2015 feature on UC Santa Barbara ace Dillon Tate, who led the Gauchos to a home regional that spring, then went on to be drafted No. 4 overall by the Rangers. He reached the major leagues last year with the Orioles, making 19 relief appearances.

Originally published: April 9, 2015.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — 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.

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. …

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