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Future's Game Q&A: Logan Allen

Logan Allen is a left-handed starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres. The 19 year-old was acquired from Boston last offseason as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade.

Logan Allen was selected by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the 2015 draft.  In his first year with the Red Sox he posted spectacular numbers, 1.11 ERA, 26 K, 1 BB, in 24.1 innings, ranking him as one of the Red Sox Top 30 prospects.  Last offseason he was traded to the Padres as part of the monster Craig Kimbrel deal.  While Manuel Margot and Javier Guerra were seen as the centerpieces of the deal, many experts believed Logan Allen had a shot to be the steal of the deal.    

Allen did not quite have the same success in his first year with the Padres.  Pitching to a 3.33 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 22 walks in 54 innings for the Tin Caps.  He missed significant time due to injury and when he came back his command was not there - 10 walks over 17 innings after returning from the disabled list.  Despite the lackluster season, Allen is still believed to be one of the Padres top prospects; a young lefty with great command and poise on the mound and the stuff to back it up.

 He was nice enough to sit down for an interview during a break at the Future's Game. 

MadFriars: You were one of the first players to be traded under the new rule allowing drafted prospects to be dealt after six months (the Trea Turner rule).  What was it like adjusting to a new organization so soon after be drafted?

Logan Allen:  It was great, the experience with the Padres was everything I had hoped it would be.  I got to go to my first spring training, even if it was with my second club and enjoyed every second of it, I loved playing in Fort Wayne and playing for the Padres, and I can’t wait until next year. 

When you were traded to the Padres was there anything that you knew about the club that made you excited?

Logan Allen: While it was completely out of the blue to be traded, it did feel kind of cool knowing that a team wanted you badly enough to trade a great player like Kimbrel to get you.  The first thing I thought of about being with the Padres is that I get to hit in the National League.  I loved hitting in high school, and the strategy that goes into hitting and bunting.  Pitchers don’t start hitting until Double-A but hopefully I get to start hitting.    

Last year you dominated the Gulf Coast League walking only one batter over 20 innings, however, this year you didn’t have the same command.  What was the biggest difference?

Logan Allen: The hitters in the Midwest League are a bit more advanced.  In the GCL pretty much everyone was just drafted, and in the Midwest League there are players who have been with their club for two to three years.  Really though it was having to make adjustments.  I was trying to be too perfect with all of my pitches which led to frustration when they didn’t work out as I wanted them to, or if the hitter put a good swing on it.  Really I learned that I need to take a deep breath, relax, and trust my stuff.  Since I started adopting that mentality I have found that success in instructs and rehab.  I plan on taking that mantra next year and realizing it doesn’t matter where I pitch, a well-executed pitch in the GCL is a well-executed pitch in the Midwest League.    

Was there something in particular you were hoping to work on or improve throughout the season?

Logan Allen: The biggest thing for me this year was dealing with failure.  I had never really been roughed up on the mound or gone done with an injury.  There were a lot of points of adversity throughout the season that I had to deal with, and while it wasn’t what I had hoped I think I am a better player because of it. 

I also improved on my breaking ball.  I feel like I have better command and movement with it, and I am starting to trust it in high pressure situations. 

What happened on the injury front?  We were first told that you were going to be on the disabled list for a couple weeks and before we knew it, it was two months later before you started pitching again.

Logan Allen: Most of it was just precautionary, it was a situation where they wanted to be extra cautious and make sure they knew exactly what it was.  In the end it turned out not to be anything too serious, but it was still a month away from the mound and then they slowly brought me back to baseball activities and rehab.  I will say that when they did finally let me throw off the mound again it felt like a completely new arm.    

From a mental standpoint, what was it like having to watch your friends and teammates go out and compete why you had to just sit there?

Logan Allen: It was absolutely tough!  I sat in the dugout next to Burt [Hooton, the TinCaps' pitching coach] charting pitches for about a month and a half straight.  It got pretty old just sitting there watching someone do what you want to be out there doing yourself.  At the very least I feel like I am an expert when it comes to charting now.    

Is there any particular pitch the Padres have been working with you on during instructs?

Logan Allen:  It started out just making sure I was 100% back from injury, as my location and pitches were not as crisp as they were before injury.  I've been pitching a lot during instructs, three innings at a time which is more than most of the other guys here.  Other than that command of my curveball figuring out if I can add more spin to it.  I know I have a pretty good curveball with a good spin rate, but it can be better.  Its tough at times to find that consistent release point with it but I can already see improvements.  I already feel I have complete control over my fastball and change but if I can add a bit more velo(city) to my curve, add a bit more spin, and get that consistent release point, it is really going to help me at the next level. 

Now that you are healthy, what is your goal for the offseason?

Logan Allen: Really to just prepare myself for spring training.  Probably work on building the muscles that we don’t necessarily have time during the season to hit the weight room and work on.  Of course to keep my arm completely healthy for spring training, and I guess getting bigger, faster, stronger, and a more complete baseball player.  Hopefully I go into spring training healthy, do my best, and get to go with a team that I can help be successful.  

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