Dodgers Prospect Countdown: #2 Allen Webster

From unheralded 18th rounder to top prospect, Webster has spent the last three years establishing himself as a top prospect. He's not far from the big leagues, but when will he arrive?

Vital Info

Born February 10, 1990 in Madison, North Carolina. Drafted in the 18th round of the 2008 First Year Player Draft. Listed at 6'3 and 185 lbs. Bats and throws right-handed.

Stats

Pitched 12 games in relief for the Gulf Coast Dodgers in his debut. Tallied 18.1 innings, posting a 3.44 ERA. Allowed 12 hits, including one home run and 17 walks. Struck out 13.

Split 2009 between the Arizona and Pioneer Leagues. Pitched 12 games in the AZL, starting 8 and posted a 2.08 ERA in 47.2 innings. Allowed 35 hits and 14 walks, while striking out 56. Pitched in 4 games, 3 starts, for the Ogden Raptors. Posted a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings, allowing 23 hits (1 HR) and 4 walks with 21 strikeouts.

Spent all of 2010 with the Great Lakes Loons, pitching 131.1 innings. Allowed 113 hits, including 6 home runs, and 53 walks. Struck out 114. Ranked 21st in the league with a 2.88 ERA. Was 16th in strikeouts.

Pitching for both High A Rancho Cucamonga and Double A Chattanooga, Webby posted a 4.03 ERA in a career high 145 innings. In 9 games for Rancho, all starts, he posted a 2.33 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 54 innings. Allowed just 46 hits, including 2 home runs, and 21 walks. Made 18 appearances, 17 starts, for the Lookouts and posted an ERA of 5.04. In 91 innings, he allowed 101 hits (7 HR) and 36 walks with 73 strikeouts.

Scouting Report

After pitching just 7 innings during his senior season of high school, no one thought much of the 18th rounder after his debut, in which he struggled to throw strikes. But a breakout season in 2009 was followed by a strong full season run In the Midwest League. In 2011, Webster continued to impress, reaching Double A as a 21 year old.

Allen's fastball rates as a plus pitch and, with his wiry frame, could project to be better down the road. He sits at 91-93mph and can get as high as 97 on the gun. The pitch also has good movement, getting natural sink that leads to high groundball rates.

Webster throws both a curve and a slider which have potential, though he needs to work on their consistency. His best secondary offering is his changeup, which features hard sink and fade. This gives him the possibility of throwing four plus pitches.

His mechanics are clean and his delivery is easy. While he's skinny, he still projects as a starter and has the repertoire to be a good one. A shortstop in high school, he's a good athlete and doesn't have a history of injuries.

Confidence

High. Webster figures to be at least a decent starter in the majors, with the chance to have multiple plus offerings. He doesn't quite figure to be an ace but could end up as a good #2 or #3. There's really not much to dislike about him.

He did struggle at times in Double A last season, stringing together three starts in which he pitched just 8.2 innings and allowed 20 earned runs. However, he bounced back with two solid starts to end the year. Refining one of his breaking pitches should be his main focus before he's ready to test himself against major league hitters.

The Future

The signings of Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang have blocked Webster for now, though he was likely to start 2012 in the minors anyway. Hopefully, by the time he's ready to join the big league rotation, a spot will be open for him. He could debut as soon as midseason, with early 2013 being a safer timetable.

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