Coach Chester: A complete player. He is going to play the game the right way. He will run every ball out to first. If he has to dive, he will dive. He is a hard-nosed kid. Accompany that with all of his tools - it makes him dangerous at any level.
Some scouts have wondered about his development with the bat, saying it has a ways to go. Is that a fair assessment?
Coach Chester: I think so, but you have to put everything in perspective too. When you look at Donavan – he walked 40 times this year. He didn't get anything to hit. In our high school, we play a very competitive schedule. We would see guys with two or three arm slots that threw 77 mph that would get Albert Pujols out.
The type of pitching he hits is top level pitching. I think people will change their perspective after a couple of months.
Donavan is known to have very good speed. Does that translate well on the base paths or does he need more time and experience reading a pitcher's move?
Coach Chester: I think he is so aggressive – a couple of times this year he got picked off. He was probably picked off four or five times and out of those four or five times he made it to second base safely three or four. He gets good looks and at this level you look at balks and a pitcher's move. Of course, one is different than the other. If a pitcher holds it for a long time, he may get an early jump. He is always trying to get as early a jump as he can and the pitcher throws to first and the first baseman can't throw him out at second.
He is at third base in the third game of the State championship. Our number two hitters hits one between short and third. The shortstop dives and it hits off the end of his glove. Donavan never backs off. He rounds second and the outfielder comes in to get the ball. He tries to throw him out but he couldn't get him. Our guy continues and makes it to second. Now we have runners at second and third and nobody out. It ended up being a very big inning; he took away the double play, the force and put two people into scoring position because he read the ball so well and had such a good break at contact.
The Padres hitting philosophy is based on a patiently aggressive approach. Does he fit into that mold of being able to take pitches and look for one good pitch to hit?
Coach Chester: For me, at the high school level, I think he was too patient. I think he will fit in very well with their philosophy.
There were some pitches that were just off the plate that he would take for balls that, at our level, I thought he could hit 500 feet. He is very, very patient at the plate.
We have heard that he is a potential five-tool type player. Does that extend to the outfield as well?
Coach Chester: It does. He is an alley-to-alley player. His arm is a plus arm. He is 92-93 (mph) off the mound and 94 from the outfield. He gets a very good jump on the ball and covers so much ground. I think it surprises some people.
Our philosophy was for our left and right fielders – if Donavan calls you off, get out of the way.
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