Continuing our look at the Mets’ options with the seventh overall pick in June’s amateur draft, today we’ll take a look at righty Dylan Covey, who hails from a California high School.
School: Maranatha High School (Pasadena, CA)
Weight: 205 lbs.
What He Brings
Like Karsten Whitson, Covey is another polished prep right-hander. In fact, he might even be more pro-ready than Whitson. He’s got decent size for a pitcher, with a powerful, durable body. His fastball shows good heat, regularly hitting 90-94 and touching 96 when things are going good. And, unlike a lot of pitchers, it’s got good movement. He’s able to get on top of the ball often, which, combined with his high three-quarters arm slot, gives his heater both sink and boring action. That powerful body allows him to maintain his velocity deep into games.
Covey’s secondary offerings are just as interesting, with the potential to have four good offerings in his repertoire. His best offspeed pitch is a hard, roundhouse curve that typically has consistent rotation and good break. It’s a hard pitch, usually sitting 77-80. The slider comes in a little harder, but he doesn’t get a whole lot on the pitch yet, though there’s hope. Finally, he’s got an advanced changeup for someone his age, showing good arm velocity. It would be better if he could knock another mile or two per hour off the pitch and get more movement on the pitch, but right now it’s pretty close to average.
Mechanically, he’s very sound. He’s got a compact delivery, quick tempo, and a pretty low-stress motion. His arm’s very quick thanks in part to an aggressive stride. There’s a lot to like here.
What He Doesn’t Bring
He’s had some issues with consistency. His velocity has been a little up-and-down, sometimes hitting 96 and other times sitting in the high-80s. That’s often due to difficulty repeating deliveries, and I have caught him opening his shoulders too soon on video at least twice. This would explain his velocity inconsistencies if it’s a recurring issue.
Command-wise, he hasn’t always been there, either. He doesn’t have bad command, but he has had issues here and there. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the timing problem I mentioned above was the root, though he might improve some if he softens his landing a tad, too.
Finally, there’s his size. He’s got good size for a pitcher, there’s no doubt about that. But, he’s got good bulk for a pitcher, too, which means he’s not likely to gain anything on his fastball that we haven’t already seen. This gives him a little less upside than the taller, leaner guys like A.J. Cole, for example.
Everything else is pretty minor. He needs to work on the change and slider a little more, but he’s already way ahead of almost every other prep arm in the draft in that regard.
I find Covey really interesting, and he’s certainly inside my top 10 draft prospects. But here’s a tough question: if give the choice, would you rather have Whitson or Covey? Not an easy call.
Both fit in the category of polished college righties with above average heat and command. Both have commitments to good programs (San Diego in Covey’s case) but should give it up for first-round money. Both have been on scouts’ radars for a while, though Covey owns a little bit more track record. But Whitson is taller, has a little more upside, and probably better stuff right now, too. His command is a little better, too. But I think Covey’s difficulties will largely work themselves out in time, and I think he’s going to need less hands-on instruction right off the bat. Covey also has a better grasp on his offspeed stuff as a whole, and I think he might move a little more quickly than Whitson.
In the end, I have Covey just a little lower on my draft board, but they might be more of a 1A and 1B than a 1 and 2. And if Whitson goes first, proves a hard sign, or disappoints in the coming week or two, Covey is a great backup plan to have around.