- Full name Tate Austin Blackman
- Born 09/07/1994 in Orlando, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 195 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Mississippi
- Drafted in the 13th round (387th overall) by the Chicago White Sox in 2017 (signed for $100,000).
An eligible sophomore, Blackman was a 20th-round pick out of high school (Brewers) in 2014 but stumbled out of the gate as a freshman, hitting just .197 for Mississippi. That was a concern because his bat was supposed to be his carrying tool due to a quick, line-drive swing. He rebounded as a sophomore for the Rebels, hitting .322/.392/.435. His power is mostly to the gaps, and while he's an average runner, he's not a base stealer. Blackman's defense at second has improved but his value remains in his improving bat.
Blackman is the latest middle-infield product of a powerhouse Lake Brantley High program that has produced the Rickie and Jemile Weeks, Nick Franklin and Felipe Lopez. But scouts compare Blackman, who is 6 feet and 187 pounds, to Giants 2012 first-round pick Christian Arroyo as a Florida middle infielder with a strong, thick body, an advanced bat and questions about his long-term defensive position. Blackman also is one of the oldest high school players in the draft class and will be 20 by the end of the minor league season, so he would be a draft-eligible sophomore if he winds up at Mississippi. His polished bat is his carrying tool, as Blackman was one of the most consistent hitters on the showcase circuit. His quick, line-drive swing works inside the baseball and creates hard contact to all fields, though he has fringe-average power. He puts together good at-bats and has good understanding of the strike zone. Currently a shortstop, Blackman has soft hands, defensive instincts and an average arm, but he's a below-average runner and his lack of range will likely move him off the position. His most likely role is as an offensive second baseman because his power is short for third, though some scouts prefer him there as a contact-oriented player.