Originally drafted in the first round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, Dylan Covey decided to stay home and go to college at San Diego State University after learning he had diabetes in a post-draft physical. Covey came to the Oakland Athletics as a fourth round pick in the 2013 amateur draft after spending three years at SDSU.
Covey was drafted in hopes that the A’s were getting a steal by picking up a first-round talent in the fourth round. He throws a fastball that tops out of 95 mph and has heavy sinking action that make him a first-round prospect, but through his first two seasons in the A’s organization, Covey did little to show why the Brewers thought so highly of him out of high school. In his first two seasons, Covey made stops at all of the Athletics’ A-ball affiliates. His first season – a short one due to being drafted that year – Covey boasted a respectable 3.75 earned run average over 59.1 innings pitched while only walking 18 and striking out 46.
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In 2014, his second season, Covey regressed. His overall season numbers weren’t pretty (5.46 ERA, 41 walks and 92 strikeouts over 140 innings), but his numbers when he reached the High-A Stockton Ports were just plain ugly. In 39 innings for the Ports, Covey sported an era of 7.15, walking 15 and striking out only 22.
The slow start for the Ports led to a second stint with the squad in 2015, and Covey used the second chance to show what he was really made of.
In 26 starts, Covey pitched 140.1 innings, lowered his ERA to a solid 3.59, and raised his strikeout-to-walk ratio by walking only 43 while striking out 100 batters. He did give up more home runs in 2015 than he did in his first two seasons combined, 13 in 2015 compared to only nine over the previous two seasons, but that can be expected when pitching in the hitter-friendly California League.
After a full season of success with the Ports, Covey should start the 2016 season in Double-A with the Midland Rockhounds, and if he succeeds there, who knows how fast he could move up the organizational ladder. At his current rate, Covey could see time with the big club as early as the 2017 season, but he’ll have to master Double-A and Triple-A first.