This is the fifth in my 2015 MLB Draft profile series. Next up is probably the best and most unattainable prospect on my radar.
6’0, 170 pounds
DOB: Aug. 13, 1997
Days younger than Julio Urias: 366
San Clemente, Calif.
San Clemente High School
Slot recommended bonus (No. 24): $2,094,400
Slot recommended bonus (No. 35): $1,756,100
Editor’s note: All information of draft prospects compiled from internet sources, scouting reports and video.
There aren’t a ton of ace-potential pitchers in this draft, and Kolby Allard might not be that guy. But on the prep side, he’s the best pitching prospect available, and he’s only connected to the Dodgers in mock drafts because of an injury he sustained in the spring.
Allard suffered a stress reaction in his back in March and hasn’t thrown since. And despite the injury, he’s still atop my Big Board and would be ecstatic if the Dodgers came away with him in the first round. Besides, he made a name for himself at the Perfect Game All-American Classic last year (embedded below). He struck out the side in his one inning and earned the game’s most valuable player honor.
He isn’t a big pitcher by any means, and if you’re concerned about that, check out this piece on short pitchers by Kiley McDaniel. While it isn’t a 1:1 comparison because he uses college pitchers and not prep pitchers, Allard falls into some of the things described. In fact, someone compared him to a left-handed Sonny Gray (who is named in the FanGraphs’ piece), which, yes. The stress reaction doesn’t really project to be a long-term or chronic injury, and he was considered a Top 5-10 pick heading into the spring.
Allard uses a low-90s fastball that he can work inside and outside. He has a little reach-back velocity, as he has touched 96 MPH in the past. He gets some arm-side run on it and it projects to be a plus-offering once he’s fully matured. He also spins a tight 1-7 curveball in the mid-to-high-70s. It’s a hammer and a true swing-and-miss pitch. He also has a changeup that is fringy and needs work, but that’s usually the case for prep starting pitchers.
He begins his delivery standing straight up with his glove covering his face a bit. He raises his hands just as (or even before) be moves his right foot to begin his wind-up. He brings his hands down to chest level at the same time his knee reaches that level. He doesn’t drop much before he drives toward the plate, and he gets his front foot down rather quickly. His arm can drag at times, but it’s a quick arm and he’s able to generate a lot of velocity (especially for his frame) on his offerings. And there isn’t a ton of effort in his delivery, which tends to happen with shorter pitchers. It’s pretty repeatable, which bodes well for future command and success. He delivers his pitches from a three-quarters arm slot, allowing him to get some movement on his fastball.
He’s a skinny kid, which usually means there’s some projectability left. Remember, Julio Urias was once 5’11, 160 (allegedly), and he grew and added good weight. However, Allard doesn’t project to do that (he’s probably done growing vertically), and he probably won’t add a ton of weight in the pros (don’t ever expect him to check in at 200-plus pounds). Despite that, he still has big league velocity and the only question is if his frame can hold up over 30-33 starts in the majors. But his feel for pitching as a teenager is remarkable and he projects to be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. At worst, he’s a lights-out lefty out of the bullpen.
Allard’s injury has some concerned, but if he’s there at 24, the Dodgers should absolutely pounce on him. He’s probably going to sign for over slot if he’s drafted outside the Top 10, and the Dodgers can afford that (it would mean a value pick at No. 35 or 67). To get one of the best arms in the draft at the end of the first round would be quite the coup for the Dodgers. I still think there’s a really good chance he isn’t there at 24, but if he is, he has to be the pick, regardless of any player who falls for whatever reason.