Padres' former top prospect Tate won't report to minor league camp
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Donavan Tate's athletic career has taken another pit stop. The San Diego Padres outfielder, taken No. 3 overall in 2009, will not report to minor-league spring training on Friday for "personal reasons."
That's as much as Padres vice president of player development Randy Smith would divulge during Thursday's announcement. Smith did not give a timetable for when Tate would arrive.
"There's Donavan the ball player and Donavan the person," Smith said. "He needs to work on one before he can work on the other."
Tate's professional career has taken some detours.
The biggest came in 2011, when Tate was suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy after testing positive for synthetic cannabis, which the league terms a drug of abuse.
It was his second such positive test since receiving a $6.25 million signing bonus after being drafted.
In November 2009, he was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident and he missed the beginning of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury.
He finished last season with high Class A Lake Elsinore, hitting .247 in 178 at bats after getting promoted from low-A Fort Wayne. He was hitting just .207 there. Tate was considered the Padres' top prospect in 2010, but has fallen from grace since then.
"That's too bad," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It's such a sad story."