When Craig Kimbrel was shipped out of San Diego, the Padres received a huge haul of prospects in return. Everybody has heard of Manuel Margot and Javier Guerra. Those two are now two of the Padres top prospects. In addition to Margot and Guerra, the franchise received infielder Carlos Asuaje and left-handed pitcher Logan Allen.
Asuaje and Margot are currently in El Paso playing for the Chihuahuas. Guerra is in High-A ball with the Lake Elsinore Storm and Logan Allen is currently in A-Ball with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps. All four players have tremendous ability and the more you see of this foursome, the more you realize that Padres got an excellent deal in return for Kimbrel. Factor in how well Fernando Rodney has pitched at a fraction of the cost of Kimbrel and A.J. Preller looks like a genius.
I have had the opportunity to keep in touch with Logan Allen this year. Upon his trade to the Padres, I interviewed him and wrote a question and answer piece on him. You may check it out here. He is an excellent person and I enjoy keeping in touch with ball players like himself. Recently (Monday) the Tin Caps had the day off and Logan and I had a brief conversation via telephone.
He was enjoying his day off, all though the lefty had to report to the ball park to film a television show for the Tin Caps. The life of a young superstar baseball player. I first asked Logan about his time in Fort Wayne and if he has made the adjustment to the new league. He responded that the weather is a big factor pitching in the cold of Indiana. The coaching staff has stressed the importance of getting in on hitters and making quality pitches in certain areas. Definitely a change is scenery from the Arizona heat this spring.
That brought us to discussing the differences between the Padres organization and the Red Sox organization. Logan first talked about the Red Sox and the expectation within the organization to win. There is tons of tradition within the Red Sox organization and the front office in general is very serious. He told me the Padres front office is different in that they are approachable and laid back. He declared the Padres organization as one big on developing players. He called the Padres front office “straight forward” and stressed he is pleased and enjoying his time within the Padres organization.
We next talked about his pitches this season and if the Padres have tinkered with them. Logan reports that he is now throwing a Vulcan-style changeup that he calls more of a “split-change”. The Padres have also worked with him on smoothing out his motion and being less herky-jerky. “I’m now using my body in a smooth way to throw hard” is what Logan reports. He credits Mark Prior and Burt Hooton for helping him in the minors. Both have done a lot to fine tune his delivery early this season.
Currently Logan Allen is 2-2 on the year with a 2.33 ERA and he has 27 strike outs in his 27 innings pitched. He continues to pound the strike zone and get people out. This 18-year-old is advanced for his age and the Padres will surely soon reap the benefits of his hard work. In 20 innings last year for the Red Sox, Allen walked only one batter. Through his first 13 innings with the Padres this season, he walked eight batters. I asked him about his wild streak since I knew he prides himself on throwing strikes and attacking hitters.
“I was nit-picking the corners a bit too much. I was also flying open a little bit with my mechanics. I was falling behind in counts and was not getting pitches on the corner because I had been a bit wild. I walked more in my fourth start (4) than I had my entire pro-career to that point. It was definitely an eye-opener. I needed to stop nibbling and just go right after them. After I made that change I have had no issues”.
He sure has made the adjustment as he has only walked one batter in his last four starts since making the mental adjustment. This man learns from his mistakes and is not afraid to correct them. Another positive sign for the growth of Logan Allen as a pitcher.
In Fort Wayne this year catcher Austin Allen got of to a great start. The big backstop was mashing over the first month of the season. He has slowed down a bit but is still hitting .376 on the season with 16 RBI. The 22-year-old catcher was brought up and Logan spoke greatly about his defense and pitch calling abilities. He labeled Allen as a “outsanding catcher who calls a pretty good game”. He also spoke highly of A.J. Kennedy and Kyle Overstreet as well. The trio does an excellent job behind the plate for the Tin Caps.
Family is something very dear to Logan. His 28-year-old brother has a lot of medical issues and can no longer watch Logan play. The thought of his brother helps keep this young man grounded. Philip Allen is one of Logan’s biggest fans and he often listens to Tin Caps games and roots for his younger brother. It’s fantastic to see the family bond within the Allen troop. His family has taken the 7-8 hour drive multiple times to watch Logan play in Indiana this season. The love of your family can be very comforting in the marathon of a baseball season. Especially for a player in their first full year of professional baseball.
Logan Allen will be 19 years old next week. It’s amazing to talk to this young man and witness his growth. Padres fans really have a great talent in this left-handed thrower. He will be successful in anything he chooses to do in life. Luckily for Padres fans, at the moment his goal is throwing baseballs and pounding the strike zone. Padres fans rejoice.