2013 MLB Draft Profile: Dillon Overton, LHP, University of Oklahoma
Dillon Overton is one of several college lefties vying for the back half of the first round in 2013. He hasn't received a huge amount of attention just yet, but I suspect that will change as the college season gets moving.
Overton was drafted for the first time in 2010, a 26th round pick by the Boston Red Sox out of high school in Weatherford, Oklahoma. It was generally assumed that he would go to college and he did, taking a key role on the Sooners pitching staff as a freshman in '11. He made seven starts and 16 relief appearances, combining for 74 innings with a 2.30 ERA and a 59/33 K/BB ratio with 72 hits allowed.
He took a larger share of pitching time in 2012, making 16 starts and six relief appearances for 123 innings, continuing to perform well with a 3.15 ERA and a 126/24 K/BB with 127 hits allowed. His strikeout rate spiked (from 7.14 K/9 to 9.24) and his walk rate decreased (4.00 to 1.76). His velocity took a kick up in addition to the improved command. He will be a full-time starter in 2013.
Overton isn't a big guy. He's listed at 6-2, but with his weight varying between 160 to 180 depending on the source. I'm assuming the 160 was from high school; he looks more like 175-180 to me than 160. He's got a good measure of athleticism and repeats his simple delivery quite well, throwing strikes with a 90-93 MPH fastball. His slider has life and his changeup is good enough to help everything play up, giving him three solid pitches. His feel for pitching is very good and he has mature mound presence, taking the role as Oklahoma's Friday night starter heading into 2013.
Although he doesn't the upper-90s heat of a dominator or the huge physical projection to make scouts drool, Overton's overall package is attractive and should get him play as a "safe" pick, a guy who projects as a back-of-the-rotation strike thrower with an easy risk profile, who can move quickly through a minor league system and provide a fast return on investment. A strong spring will get him consideration in the back of the first round.