RANGERS SIGN RHP DILLON TATE, CLUB’S FIRST ROUND SELECTION
IN THE 2015 FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT
Team also agrees to terms with six other draft picks
Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers announced tonight that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate, the club’s first round selection (fourth overall) in the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The club has also agreed to terms with the following six draft picks (round in parentheses): Right-handed pitcher Jake Lemoine (4th), shortstop Dylan Moore (7th), right-handed pitcher Blake Bass (8th), right-handed pitcher Peter Fairbanks (9th), shortstop Leon Byrd (10th), and centerfielder Ledarious Clark (12th).
All players have been assigned to the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League, with the exception of Lemoine, who has been assigned to the Arizona Summer League Rangers.
Tate was the fourth overall selection in this year’s draft, the highest pick by the Rangers since taking right-handed pitcher Kevin Brown at fourth overall in 1986. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-hander went 8-5 with a 2.26 ERA (26 ER/103.1 IP) and 111 strikeouts against 28 walks in 14 starts for the University of California-Santa Barbara in his junior season this year. After recording 12 saves as a sophomore, Tate made the conversion to the rotation and was the Gauchos’ Friday night starter in 2015. Tate earned a spot on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer, recording 3 saves with a 0.79 ERA in 11 appearances. The Claremont, California native was the highest selection ever out of UCSB, the school that also produced Rangers all-time hit leader and current Special Assistant to the General Manager Michael Young.
Among his honors this season, Tate was a 2015 Louisville Slugger All-American and UCSB’s first-ever Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist. He was rated the top pitcher and 3rd-best prospect overall in the draft by Baseball America. He was also ranked 5th overall (#2 pitcher) by MLB.com and 4th overall (#1 pitcher) by ESPN.com.
Tate is a product of Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy (UYA) in Compton, California, traveling to tournaments across the United States and Japan as a teenager. He also played with the Venice Boys & Girls Club RBI program, which was crowned the Senior Division Champions of the 2011 RBI World Series in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Tate earned the victory in a complete game effort over the Chicago Cubs RBI program in the semifinals that year.
Lemoine was selected 108th overall out of the University of Houston. It was the second time the Rangers had selected Lemoine, also drafting him in the 21st round of the 2012 draft out of Bridge City High School near Beaumont. He was limited to 5 starts for the Cougars this season after suffering a shoulder injury in mid-March.
Moore posted a .323/.401/.471 slash line over 112 career games at the University of Central Florida. Bass went 10-3 with a 2.22 ERA (26 ER/105.1 IP) in 17 games/starts in his senior year at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Fairbanks had a team-best 3.40 ERA (29 ER/76.2 IP) in 15 games/starts for the University of Missouri this year. Byrd played 51 games in his junior year at Rice University, ranking among team leaders in RBI (2nd, 35), doubles (T2nd, 12), and runs (3rd, 32). Clark led the University of West Florida with 8 home runs and a .575 slugging percentage this season.
With today’s announcements, the Rangers have signed or agreed to terms with seven of the club’s 40 picks in this year’s draft.
– RANGERS –