The Forgotten San Diego Padres Prospect Donavan Tate

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: (L-R) Quarterbacks Brandon Dawkins
TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: (L-R) Quarterbacks Brandon Dawkins /

In 2009, the San Diego Padres had the third overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft. They selected an outfielder out of Cartersville high school in Georgia, named Donavan Tate.

High School

Tate was a superstar in high school. He was 6’3, 200 pounds, and an All-American in both baseball and football. For his class, Tate was in the 99th percentile in both outfield arm strength and speed (Perfect game). Tate had previously led his high school team to a Georgia state championship while hitting .512 with 9 home runs and 43 RBI’s (ESPN).

The 2009 Draft

With the third pick, the Padres signed Tate with a $6.7 million signing bonus. Other notable players in the 2009 draft class (drafted after Tate) were Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Will Myers, Jason Kipnis, AJ Pollock, Dallas Keuchel, Brian Dozier, Brandon Belt, and J.D. Martinez. As one could have predicted, Tate’s career did not pan out as the Padres had hoped.

Minor Leagues

Tate never rose above High-A and hit .226 over 6 minor league seasons. He was released by the Padres in 2015 after being plagued by injuries and failing multiple drug tests. All in his first two seasons, Tate missed playing time due to a sports hernia, broken jaw, and shoulder sprain.


After being signed and later released by the Dodgers in 2016, Tate gave up on baseball and decided to go to college at 26. Being a student at the University of Arizona, I found this story quite interesting. Tate played quarterback for the University of Arizona football team this past season and wore number 15. Unfortunately, Tate sat the bench behind a younger and faster Khalil Tate.


Both this and the infamous Matt Bush signing exemplify the poor front office and ownership of the Padres of over the past decade. Fortunately, I do not see AJ Preller making the same poor decisions. After the 2017 season, Donavan Tate informed the press that he will play football at a school closer to his home in Georgia. Best of luck to Tate in both his education and football career going forward.

Next: Padres Prospects Finding Success in Australia