Draft : : Prospect Scouting Reports
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Draft Focus: Dylan Covey

Frankie Piliere        
Photo: San Diego
Every weekday leading up to the 2013 MLB Draft, Perfect Game will be providing a scouting profile on a notable draft-eligible prospect.  Stay tuned to Perfect Game and be sure to visit the Draft Page for all of the latest info and reports pertaining to the draft.

Dylan Covey Perfect Game profile

Position:  RHP
Height:  6-2
Weight:  200
Bats/Throws:  R-R
Birthdate:  Aug. 14, 1991
College:  San Diego
Hometown:  Pasadena, Calif.
Previously Drafted:  Brewers '10 (1)
Projected Draft Round:  2-4

Dylan Covey’s name has circulated in the prospect and scouting world for quite a long time now. We’ve profiled a number of top college players in this year’s class who were drafted out of high school a few years back. But, Covey wasn’t exactly a token draft pick - this was an elite high school talent who was a 14th overall pick in the first round by the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2010. He was an Perfect Game All-American in 2009 and was undoubtedly one of most highly touted prep arms in the class. The Brewers wanted him, and it appeared Covey was ready to turn pro, but a bad break at the time kept that from happening.

Covey underwent a physical examination leading up to what looked like his probable signing with the Brewers in August of 2010, and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Milwaukee remained interested in signing him, but it was decided by Covey and his family that perhaps he was best off attending college and pitching close to home in San Diego. It was an unfortunate situation, but if there’s a bright side, it’s clear that over the three years since then that the development at the college level has been a very positive and perhaps necessary thing for Covey.

The first season in college ball for the 6-foot-2, 200 pound right-hander wasn’t an easy one. In nine starts for the Toreros, Covey struggled through serious command issues, walking 28 batters in 34 1/3 innings pitched, and pitching to a 7.60 ERA. It was clear he had some adjustments to make, and to his credit he came out in 2012 as a very different pitcher. While the walk numbers were still high, as he walked 43 in 81 1/3 innings, it was a clear step forward in every other department. Covey worked in 17 games, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and allowing just 74 hits in those 81 1/3 innings.

Following what was a big step forward in his development, Covey would head to the Cape Cod League to pitch for the Orleans Firebirds. And, it was on that stage that we’d see flashes of what made him a 14th overall pick a couple years earlier. The results were somewhat uneven for the right-hander, and he worked primarily out of the bullpen. He compiled a 3.85 ERA over 25 2/3 innings of work, allowing 27 hits and striking out 16. There were days where Covey would labor badly, but other days would provide glimpses of brilliance.

Covey made just two starts among his 13 appearances on the Cape, and I attended both of them. One of those starts was highly impressive, and the other was somewhere closer to the other end of the spectrum. The good version of Dylan Covey came out of the gate working at 90-92 mph early, and eventually built up to 91-94 by the middle of his outing. The fastball showed excellent life and boring action in on right-handed hitters. He pitched aggressively in the zone and was not afraid to work on the inner third of the plate.

In the first of his two Cape Cod starts, he eventually reached 96 mph with his fastball and did it out of a sound delivery and with a relatively easy arm action. As was the case with the fastball, Covey’s curveball got better as the game progressed. It’s a knockout, plus offering when he’s on his game as he was in this particular outing, showing late downward bite at 81-83 mph. Covey also mixed a workable changeup at 83-86 mph, but it was not a featured offering.

That game was the Dylan Covey scouts believed could go in the first round yet again. In his final appearance of last summer, however, the other side of his game showed up. The consistency of the breaking ball wasn’t there, and the velocity didn’t build up to quite the same heights. As a result, he gave up six runs in five innings of work, striking out just one batter in the process.

This spring has been a similar story for Covey. He’s looked very good in stretches, as well as not so good. And, he’s given scouts glimpses of that fastball that reaches 96 mph and that plus curveball. That inconsistent track record is, in all likelihood, going to keep him out of the top two rounds this June. But, he could also end up being a value pick around the third round if a team believes they can harness his raw ability.

Perfect Game events attended:

   2008 PG Showcase at AFLAC All American Game
    2008 WWBA World Championship
    2009 National Showcase
    2009 Aflac All American Baseball Classic
    2009 WWBA World Championship

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