H/W: 6'2'', 170 lbs.
DOB: 8/17/91 (21 years old)
When you think Oklahoma starting pitching, you think Jonathan Gray. The big righty is one of the top pitchers in the nation, but he's actually didn't start the season as OU's Friday night starter. That title went to Dillon Overton, a tall, lanky southpaw from Weatherford, Oklahoma. Overton, who was drafted by the Red Sox out of high school in the 26th round. He's had a pretty consistent college career. He's made a handful of relief appearances in his time in Norman, but his future is most likely in a starting rotation.
Overton posted an ERA of 2.30 his freshman year, but his command wasn't great, allowing 33 free passes in 74 innings. That number greatly improved his sophomore year, when he took on a bigger workload. He threw 122 innings, but only walked 24. Overton's strikeout totals also spiked his sophomore year, as he struck out 126 in those 122 innings.
Overton has produced roughly the same results this year. In 81 innings, he's struck out 74 hitters, and only allowed 21 walks, with an ERA of 2.89. He and Gray formed one of the strongest one-two punches from a pitching rotation for the Sooners, who captured the Big 12 championship this past weekend.
The first thing that stands out about Overton is his frame. He's really skinny at 170 lbs., and definitely looks like he could add some weight. His fastball currently sits in the low 90s, topping out at no more than 92 or 93. However, that could change if he's able to fill into his body a little more. He also throws a slider and changeup. Both pitches are roughly equal, but are just about average to above-average. Neither project as plus pitches down the road. Overton sometimes struggles with his fastball command, though his overall numbers in that category have greatly improved since his freshman year. When he misses with his fastball however, he usually misses up, which is not a good sign for a guy with limited pure stuff.
A left-handed pitcher with a few solid pitchers is a pretty attractive deal for major league teams. Overton won't wow you with his velocity or pure stuff, but he's a safe guy to have in an organization. I see him at least contributing to a major league bullpen as a long relief guy. He could end up as a Dallas Keuchel-like swingman, a guy with limited stuff who has to rely on his control and mixing of pitches to get hitters out.
Overton won't ever be any more than a #3 or #4 starter. His secondary pitches and fastball velocity aren't good enough to put him in the conversation as a potential top of the rotation guy, though he could add a few ticks to his fastball. Overton will have to get by on mixing up his three pitches consistently and effectively, as none of them really stand out right now. If they improve and his command is good, he could be a solid back of the rotation arm.
Projected Draft Round
Overton was initially talked about as a first round guy, but a lot of college pitchers in a very deep crop of them have passed him up. Still, he's right there in the second and third tiers of college pitching. His lack of upside could cause him to fall and probably precipitated his drop, but I see a team with multiple picks in the first few rounds taking him. Right now, I would predict he goes in the late second or third round.
Will He Sign?
Whatever happens on draft day, Overton's decision to pass up the Red Sox out of high school will have proved a good one. As a college junior, he doesn't have much left to prove in college, as his statistics for the last two years have been similar, though effective, so he probably signs. The Sooners also have a good shot at making a deep run in the postseason, so he'll have accomplished that this year as well.
DILLON OVERTON PROSPECT VIDEO, LHP, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA (via Steve Fiorindo)
DILLON OVERTON, LHP, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA, PITCHING MECHANICS, 200 FPS (via Steve Fiorindo)