The Baltimore Orioles just wrapped up a fantastic season, finishing with an unexpected 83-79 record.
That means they made huge strides in player development, which means helping members of their roster to be the best version of themselves.
One of the relievers that took an important step forward in 2022 was Dillon Tate.
Tate was so good that he has secured a spot on the 2023 World Baseball Classic, organized by MLB, as a member of the bullpen.
“Tate the Great: Dillon Tate will represent Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic!” the Orioles tweeted on Thursday.
Tate the Great 👏
Dillon Tate will represent Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic! pic.twitter.com/Pw3WAhBl0u
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) October 6, 2022
You will surely find pitchers with a lower ERA than Tate’s 3.05 in 2022.
Tate Has A Special Ability
However, what you likely won’t find that easily is someone with this particular ability: inducing ground balls at a 57.4 percent rate.
That’s what makes Tate an incredibly useful bullpen option: in those moments in which team USA is facing a threat on the bases, Tate can come and put down the fire with a valuable double-play ball.
In addition, ground balls are generally considered the best type of contact a pitcher can allow.
They are much easier to field than fly balls (they have a higher chance of going to the gaps and out of the park) and, of course, line drives.
Tate, however, can strike out people too, judging by his 60 punchouts in 73.2 frames.
He is not as dominant as your prototypical closer, but the right-hander gets the job done and gets grounders in bunches.