Milwaukee Brewers draftee Dylan Covey suffers life, career setback


Dylan Covey

Dylan Covey didn’t have much interest in playing college baseball, had informed prospective teams before the MLB Draft of what he wanted out of a contract, and was a physical away from etching his name into the history books as the Milwaukee Brewers 2010 first round pick.

Then came the physical diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes that ended Covey’s career as a Milwaukee Brewer before it even started.

By Jake McCormick

Whether the draft pick in question is a raw project out of high school or an experienced college starter, the Milwaukee Brewers organization has built a depressing trend of bad apple first round pitchers. Dylan Covey’s unfortunate circumstances are just sour whipped cream toppings on that rotten apple pie, and can be blamed on no one but fate itself. Everything except fate was aligned for Covey to begin his MLB career as a Milwaukee Brewer.

With the exception of Yovani Gallardo, the Milwaukee Brewers have struck out swinging, hard, on first round pitching prospects over the past decade. Mark Rogers and Mike Jones have spent more time rehabbing injuries than pitching in minor league games. Jeremy Jeffress did inhale, and has had problems not doing so throughout his career, and last year’s pick Eric Arnett is a hard throwing college righthander that is getting shelled by less than college-level hitters.

Dylan CoveyBut this situation is completely different, and thus all the more tragic. A diabetes diagnosis, especially Type 1, is life altering for anyone at any age and can’t be easy to adapt to in any profession. Now imagine being a 19 year old about to sign a multi-million dollar contract to begin your path to becoming a world class athlete, and hearing during your physical for that impending signing that you have a previously undiagnosed serious illness.

Covey explained to Baseball Beginnings that his late season dip in production was caused by Type 1 diabetes, and said that he felt the college lifestyle would be an easier adjustment for dealing with the illness than professional baseball. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that would argue otherwise.

Covey deserves credit for basically telling the Brewers that he didn’t want to waste their time and acknowledging that mental and physical health are much more important than dollar signs and beginning his trek to the MLB sooner than required. Brewers management also deserves some praise for respecting the recent high school graduates choice of action in regards to his health and overall well-being.

Had the physical come back clean, there’s no doubt that Covey and his impressive curveball would be following that ominous path set forth by Rogers, Jones, Arnett, etc. Now Covey will take that scholarship to the University of San Diego he insisted was not an interesting proposition when he was considered to be in full health, and the Milwaukee Brewers will enter the 2011 season with one less top pitching prospect, roughly $2 million saved, and two first round picks in the 2011 draft.

Ultimately, having two first round picks next year isn’t a terrible consolation for losing one this year, but it shouldn’t have been at the expense of a young prospect’s overall health. Neither the Milwaukee Brewers nor Dylan Covey won in these negotiations, and this was an unpredictable and unfortunate end to a once promising beginning.


  1. paulmbanks says

    Wowwwww what a story. I’m pulling for him. hope it works out.

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