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Scouting Update: Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha (CA) HS (2010 Draft)

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May 17, 2010

Pitching in his final regular season home game, the measuring stick for where Dylan Covey’s arm strength is leading up to the draft should not be taken from a hurried look in the bullpen or even from the first few fastballs in the first inning. It should be taken from deeper into the game, when he was still showing power after nearing 100 pitches.

Covey historically gets better deeper into games as his arm and back loosen up and he finds more consistent delivery and release points. After hitting 95 in the first inning, Covey hit 95 three times in the fifth inning, each time doing it for a high-heat hump. By this stage of the game, Covey was finishing his fastball and his curveball better than he was earlier in the game.  By the sixth inning, he was still hitting 93-94 with movement and just enough command.

As an experienced scout, what this would tell me is that the guy had top-ten pick arm power. He has moments where his release points are inconsistent and he grounds fastballs or airs them out, but that’s not a factor that would dissuade me from liking him in front of a big-name college starting pitcher. Covey may have fallen out of favor for some scouts this spring, but he didn’t for me. Here’s why. The guy has a hammer and he’s nowhere near physical maturity.

In this look, Covey’s curveball was 80-81 in the first inning, with very high downhill plane. In the middle innings, he threw some 83 curveballs of the hard variety, and these were closer to what we saw from him in the Fall. Deeper into the game, the curveball was 79-81, still with shape and power. Not every curveball is an absolute hammer, but more than enough of them are. He’ll still use the slow roller he’ll basically use as a sinking change-up.

To put this in perspective, Tago’s curveball is 75-77 and winds up around 74-75 deeper into the game. Covey deep into a game on a good day is usually 78-79 with the curveball. Both these guys are power arms and first-round picks. That Covey’s breaking ball has more power than Tago’s deep in a game should say something, because most scouts love Tago more than they love their wives and girlfriends.

When you project Covey with more upper body strength and power, as an adult in his late 20s and early 30s, you’re talking about a guy with the potential to have the best breaking ball in the big leagues. That said, I’m willing to bet that there are some scouting directors in the game who are going to make mistakes and deem Covey as too inconsistent or too much of a gamble. Perhaps they saw him on a bad day. They have their jobs and I have mine. If you’re going to take a high school arm, you better be sure. If I’m the area guy, I’m sure. As the great Gene Handley once said, “Sometimes we make this job a lot harder than it really is.”

Visit Dylan Covey Photo Store

Read earlier Dylan Covey Scouting Update
Read Dylan Covey Q&A
Read Dylan Covey March Scouting Update
Watch Dylan Covey Scouting Video
Read Dylan Covey Season Debut Scouting Update
Watch more Dylan Covey Scouting Video
Read Dylan Covey Scouting Report
Watch more Dylan Covey Scouting Video
Watch more Dylan Covey Scouting Video
Read Fall 2010 Dylan Covey Scouting Update

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