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Youth baseball player in Midland making quite the strides

SJ Tate has a chance to advance to the National Finals of MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competitions.

MIDLAND, Texas — SJ Tate is a third-grade student at Yarbrough Elementary in Midland and a precocious baseball player.

He won the local MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competition in July, and then went on to win team champion in Arlington in early September.

As for what the experience has been like so far, Tate has surprised himself.

“It’s just a crazy experience that I’m able to play baseball like this," Tate said. "I’m just impressed. I never ever expected me to be this good at baseball."

Baseball is Tate’s favorite sport, the Padres are his favorite team and his favorite player is Fernando Tatis Jr. due to his talent and personality.

On Tatis Jr. being his favorite player, Tate said it’s “because he’s just a real good player. I like how he always has these certain handshakes with his teammates.”

Tate is also a multi-sport athlete, and he believes that helps his overall game.

“I think so because football requires speed and strength, and baseball requires those too,” Tate said.

Tate currently plays all three outfield spots and is eager to better his pitching.

He now has a chance to be selected to the national finals, which will take place at the World Series in late October.

On that note, Tate said “it would be a huge opportunity. I will just be shocked.”

Tate also has his sights set on competing at the Little League World Series in a few years. For Tate, a trip to Williamsport “would just be mind-blowing.”

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