Daniel Carter Garate participated in three showcase events, including the WWBA National Championship, last summer. Playing against high-level talent allowed the California prep shortstop to gain national exposure and measure himself against other top players in the 2022 class.
After last summer, Garate made mechanical tweaks to his swing in the offseason. The changes have elevated Garate’s offensive profile, as he’s displayed more consistency and power potential this spring.
The senior at Murrieta Mesa (Calif.) High School is an underrated prospect who has the intangibles, potential and makeup to move up MLB draft boards and hear his name called in the draft. This spring, Garate’s improvements have caused scouts to take notice and scout him in preparation for this year’s draft.
“Everything with the draft started this year, and it has been pretty heavy,” Garate said. “I received a lot of attention that I didn’t see before, but God has opened this opportunity. Everything is in his hands. I’m just super thankful.”
Scouts rave about Garate’s defensive skills. The 6-foot, 160-pound shortstop has all the tools to remain at the position long term.
Garate is athletic and features speed that lets him move well from side to side and make plays in the hole. He also has good hands and a strong arm, allowing him to make all the necessary throws.
“I have good instincts,” Garate said. “For me, I believe I have something other players don’t, specifically middle infielders. I just have a knack to adjust to the ball a lot earlier, see the ball deeper into my glove, and just be in the right spot.”
Offensively, Garate displays potential at the plate. The left-handed hitter uses a short and compact swing to drive the ball to the gaps. He has a contact-orientated approach and believes he will add more power as he matures physically.
Garate uses a right leg kick as a timing mechanism. He worked on “getting the foot down in the offseason so I can see the ball for a lot longer,” he said. The mechanical adjustments have helped Garate square up pitches and drive them into the gaps at a higher percentage.
“I want to be more consistent on the offensive side,” Garate said. “Pitch selection and plate discipline are two areas I can improve.”
Besides his status as a draft prospect, Garate is a University of Oregon commit. On Aug. 11, 2021, he committed to Oregon after originally committing to Cal State Fullerton as a freshman in 2019.
Cal State Fullerton experienced a coaching change at the end of the 2021 season. Rick Vanderhook retired as the head coach after leading the program for 10 years. The change caused Garate to reevaluate his commitment.
He picked Oregon over the University of California Irvine, citing his relationship with the Oregon coaching staff for his selection. Right now, he’s eager to attend Oregon in the fall. But that plan could change depending on where he’s selected in this year’s draft.
“I went to Oregon, and my experience with the coaches was awesome,” Garate said. “Obviously, the facilities are great. But I didn’t go into my visit focusing on that. It just came down to how comfortable I could be in the program.”
Do you enjoy reading Baseball Prospect Journal’s draft content? Become a Patron
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.