Q&A with David DiNatale

Q&A with David DiNatale

David DiNatale is considered one of the top outfield prospects in the high school ranks, possessing the coveted five tools that has scouts drooling. Despite committing to University of Central Florida, DiNatale is projected to be a first round pick in next June's MLB Draft.

David DiNatale is a senior at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl and was named Palm Beach County's Player of the Year as a junior in 2004, earning first team All-County honors and second team All-State honors last year when he set a school and county record in 2004 with 39 RBI . He has the whole package in the outfield and at the plate. He can hit for average (.493) and for power (4 HRs, including one that was measured at over 480 feet). He has a cannon for an arm, even being clocked at 91 mph from the outfield! Throw in his tremendous speed (16 SBs in '04) and DiNatale has MLB scouts giddy at the thought of adding him to their organization next June. David sat down with Scout.com for a Q&A session.

What are your athletic goals right now entering your senior season?
To become stronger and try to get a little faster. My plans for this year include trying to have a positive and healthy year, and improve with each passing day. I want to show I can hit the ball solid, show my bat speed and show my tools, and all that will lead to success down the road.

Have you committed to a college for next fall?
I have committed to University of Central Florida.

Talk a little about the upcoming 2005 Major League Baseball Draft and where you see yourself going?
You really can't predict the draft, however if my tools stay the same, and if I stay healthy, I feel very confident about my future in terms of professional baseball. I have also committed to a solid baseball program so it's not like I don't have a positive fall back option.

Do you feel pressure at times getting all this attention while your 16, 17 and 18 years old?
It is a little pressuring some times, however you just have to keep everything in perspective and remember that you are here to play baseball, and most of all to have fun. You have scouts judging you on how good you are, and how good they think you could be, however you get judged in every aspect of your life. I get judged in school with my grades and classes. When you go for a job interview you get judged on your personality, skills and resume, so I just don't see baseball as a drastic difference. The key is not letting the pressure get to you and to remain relaxed while playing baseball.

Is there a player in the major leagues that you model your game after or consider a role model?
Yes, Jim Edmonds

Which aspect of your game would you say is the strongest?
I have plus speed on the bases, and have an above average arm strength in the outfield. I run a 6.7 60 yard dash which is a nice time to have for a speed guy, and I throw the ball low 90's from the out field. At the plate I have good bat speed and my ball jumps off the bat. My goal is to try and steal more bases this year, and show everyone the speed I possess. Last year I hit in the three hole and really could not show my speed, however I want people to know that I am a speed guy.

How did you get into baseball?
I began playing at the age of seven and have worked hard every single day to achieve my goal of playing professional baseball. That is all I ever wanted and all I ever wanted to be, a baseball player.

Talk a little about the competition in the state of Florida?
It is the best in country here in south Florida. Southern California and Texas rank high, but you see some great players here in South Florida. I transferred last year from a 2A school to a 6A school, and is a much higher level of competition, and this is a way of improving as a player, by playing better competition,

What outfield position do you see yourself playing in college and in professional baseball?
Right now I play mostly center field, however many scouts project me as a future right fielder. To be a successful major league center fielder you need to have a 60 yard dash speed of about 6.5, and right now I am about 6.7, 6.8. I mentioned earlier my goal is to get faster, and if I can achieve that, and get my speed down to that 6.5 mark, then I believe I will have the speed to play a successful center field.

What would you consider your biggest baseball moment?
Last year we were losing in game, and with 2 outs and 2 guys on base, I came to the plate, and with a 2 strike count, I hit a opposite field home run to win the game.

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