The KC Royals selected right-handed pitcher Kevin Allen in the 23rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He was coming off a solid season at Texas Christian University (TCU) in which he picked up five saves in 28 relief appearances.
Allen could move quickly through the minor leagues if the Royals choose to leave him in the bullpen because he is a more advanced college arm.
His 2013 season is also proof he could move quickly.
Allen joined Low-A Lexington at the end of the first half and was stellar out of the bullpen (19 appearances). He had one poor outing (1.2IP, 3H, 3R, 2HR, BB on July 28th) that ballooned his ERA to 1.82.
Opponents only hit .200 against him. He struck out 35 compared to just six walks in 34.2 innings. He did not issue a walk over his final eight appearances (14 innings). Of his 19 appearances, 15 were for more than one inning. Allen allowed runs in only six appearances.
The only downside is that he is a fly ball pitcher (0.86 GO/AO rate).
I expect Allen to start the 2014 season in High-A Wilmington’s bullpen. If he pitches like he did last season, he will see a promotion to Double-A by season’s end. The Blue Rocks pitching staff could be really special in 2014 (just like Lexington’s was in 2013).