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2/10/1990 (27 y, 11 d)
2008 June Amateur Draft - Round: 18, Pick: 15, Overall: 547, Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
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Webster signed a minor league contract with the Rangers on Tuesday that includes an invite to spring training. (11/15/2016)
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For short spurts, Allen Webster has the ability to dominate minor league competition. Unfortunately, he tires faster than a 100 meter sprinter tasked with running a marathon. Twice, I've seen Webster dominate for four innings before collapsing. Given his ground-ball tendencies and fastball which can touch 98 mph, Webster's ceiling is tantalizing. However, projecting durability is difficult. This leaves his future role in doubt. The potential is there for Webster to surface as a number-three starter, but so-so command and a lean frame may result in his becoming a late inning reliever -- especially if he's rushed to Boston. (
The Quick Opinion:
Webster's eventual role is the question. Not his stuff, or his ceiling.
When Allen Webster came to the Red Sox, he was widely perceived as the secondary piece in the deal (to Rubby De La Rosa). He quickly changed minds in Boston with a strong finish at Double-A Portland. Then he sat in the mid to upper 90's with filthy stuff for much of Spring Training in 2013. Webster has front of the rotation stuff and has no problem missing bats. He had more of an up and down season but showed flashes of what he can be. Command and control is a problem for Webter and largely because he remains painfully skinny. When and if he fills in and adds strength this should improve, though. The Red Sox have no shortage of starting pitching options for the upcoming season, so drafting Webster for 2014 is a shaky proposition. If he gets a chance in the bullpen his stuff would play up very well there, too. The long term future remains very bright, though. (Al Skorupa)
The Quick Opinion:
Webster had a breakout season in 2013, reaching the majors and showing flashes of front line stuff. He needs to get stronger to improve his command and control. Major league innings in 2014 might be hard to come by with Boston's great pitching depth.
Allen Webster has thrown over 800 sinkers, sliders, and changeups. They've all shown plus whiff rates. In the case of the change (26%), there's even a chance for him to have one of the best righty changes in the game. Randall Delgado (28.8%) and Stephen Strasburg (25.1%) threw their versions of the pitch more often, but the trio sits atop the leaderboard for right-handed starters. The four-seam might be the culprit for his bad results to date. The pitch gets a whiff under 2% of the time and finds the zone less than half the time -- perhaps he should quit throwing it, even if averaged over 92 last year. In any case, Webster's poor control (he's walked more than a batter ever two innings so far in his major league career and had worse-than-average walk rates at most minor league stops) makes him a risky bet. But that means he'll also be available. And a starter with three good pitches and a demonstrated double-digit whiff rate has to be interesting in any draft you'll see this spring. Only twelve pitchers with more than 80 innings thrown over the last two years have had a better whiff rate. Stay on top of his spring innings usage and conversations about his role. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
With a fistful of pitches and no command, Allen Webster is not the most dangerous man that ever lived. He is, however, a 25-year-old with great stuff and an opportunity in the Arizona rotation. If he gets that spot, draft him late. In any league of decent depth.
Allen Webster still has swing and miss stuff, with a breaking ball and changeup that get the whiffs despite minus-minus command and terrible mound presence. Unfortunately even the pitcher whisperer Ray Searage in Pittsburgh eventually passed on his upside and now Webster is headed abroad. (Eno Sarris)
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Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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