With their fourth pick of the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the New York Mets selected Kennesaw State right-hander Tony Dibrell, the 127th overall selection.
Dibrell, 21, has a solid build and frame, standing six-foot-three and 190 pounds. He features a four-pitch arsenal; fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. His fastball touches 96, but primarily the right-hander sits in the 92-94 mph mark.
The young righty had his best collegiate season in his junior year, making fourteen starts and compiling a record of 7-4, along with a 2.45 ERA (4th best overall in the Atlantic Sun Conference), with a 9.69 K/9. He credits his time in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2016 as to why he had his best success this past season.
There’s a lot to like in the selection of Dibrell, as scouts have opined that his fastball, slider and changeup can all be plus pitches at their best. He’ll need to work on his command with the Mets, as his BB/9 in his junior season was just below four-per-nine. However, it is encouraging to note that Dibrell lowered his BB/9 and WHIP from 2016 (4.97 BB/9, 1.55 WHIP) down to 3.67 and 1.21 respectively.
I had the privilege of speaking to Dibrell last week, where we discussed the Draft, his time at Kennesaw State, and some of his favorite players growing up.
MMO: What was the Draft like for you? Who were you with and when did you hear the news that the Mets had selected you in the fourth round?
Tony: Oh, it was a stressful night. I was getting a bunch of calls and trying to make deals and everything. I was actually at home with my family and some of my friends. The Mets called me a couple of picks before and I found out I was going to get drafted by them in the fourth round. It was awesome to hang out with my family and friends when it happened.
MMO: Did you have an idea that the Mets were interested in selecting you prior?
Tony: Yeah, we had been talking before about how much I would sign for and everything like that so I knew they were interested.
MMO: With the pitching this club has churned out, it must be pretty exciting to join an organization that prides itself on developing arms.
Tony: It’s the best organization for churning out pitching and I know it’s going to help me tremendously being there.
MMO: Who were some of your favorite players growing up? Any that you model your game after?
Tony: Justin Verlander was probably my favorite pitcher. Recently I became a big fan of Yordano Ventura and I try to model my game after his.
MMO: Can you give me a brief scouting report on yourself? What types of pitches do you throw, and what would you consider your best pitch?
Tony: I don’t want to give too much away. (Laughs) I throw a fastball, slider, changeup, and a curveball. And my best pitch is probably my slider.
MMO: Conversely, what do you feel you still need to work on?
Tony: Just throwing more pitcher’s pitches; just more competitive strikes is what I need to work on.
MMO: You had a tremendous junior year at Kennesaw State. What clicked for you this season?
Tony: Going up to the Cape this past summer and doing well, I just got a lot of confidence knowing that I was one of the best players in the country. So I just kept that going and just had a different swagger about me and I think it showed.
MMO: You pitched both out of the pen and as a starter, do you have a preference going forward?
Tony: I prefer to start.
MMO: Have you visited New York before?
Tony: I went out there one time this spring and saw the city. But it’ll be good to actually live there and be able to explore a lot more.
MMO: While you were playing at Kennesaw State, what do you think you benefited the most from during your time there?
Tony: The pitching coach, Kevin Erminio. He kind of took me under his wing and really helped me out with the mental side and physical side of actually being a competitive pitcher. So he helped me out the most and just being around a bunch of guys that want the best for you and just want to win.
MMO: Thanks for your time today Tony, congratulations on signing and all the best.
Tony: Alright, thank you so much.