A wobbly Bud Selig waddled up to the podium, tired eyes peering through powerful spectacles at a sizable audience. All who occupied Studio 42 held their breath, awed by the mysterious air of Draft Day.
These players, just kids, had so much room to succeed or fail. It was the culmination of a year's scouting, and it was time for the number three pick to be made. John Hart directed a crooked smile at the audience, and Bud Selig cleared his throat.
"With the third pick in the 2009 First Year Player Draft, the San Diego Padres select," Selig started.
Here it came. The pick that could define a franchise. Bud Selig's lips parted, and the words came out as quick as a whip. A whip that slapped the faces of many other organization's scouting heads.
Harold Reynolds grinned as he stated the importance of Tate to the Padres. To paraphrase, Reynolds called the Padres a boring squad and said that Tate would be the spark-plug.
As it stands, Tate has committed to playing both football and baseball at the University of North Carolina, on a scholarship. An extremely talented athlete, he would rise quickly through the Padres minor league system. The question is, can the Padres sign him?
Obviously, the Padres and Kevin Towers will be willing and able to spend on their new prized possession. The Georgia outfielder hit .525 this season, launching 10 long balls. He has all the five tools, but the question is if the hitting will develop the way Padres executives hope for it to.
According to most scouts, he should develop an above-average glove and average power. We're looking at a guy who may be a perennial 20-20 candidate who can also get it done in the field.
Advantageous to the Padres is that glove. Playing at the spacious PetCo Park, San Diego's ball club will need an agile ballplayer who can cover a lot of ground to man center field for them. Donovan Tate is that guy.
Donovan Tate was the guy for San Diego on Draft Day. Let's see if he'll be the guy to lead them back to the playoffs.