Former Florida Tech Panther Standouts Make Professional Debuts
By Florida Tech // June 27, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Barely one month removed from the conclusion of their highly-touted college careers, three former Florida Tech baseball players have already begun the process of winning over new fan bases in their respective cities.
With minor league seasons in full swing, Austin Allen, Tyler Doughty and Scotty Ward hope to immediately carve out roles and make impacts while under the microscope that is professional baseball.
Debuting for the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Class A Short Season affiliate of the San Diego Padres, Allen has appeared in six games behind the plate since becoming the highest draft pick in program history back on June 9.
With the club 5-3 through its first eight games, the left-handed hitting catcher is batting .261 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored, adding a perfect 3-for-3 effort against the Boise Hawks last Saturday.
Allen admits the talent level is a step up from the Sunshine State Conference, but is adjusting in full stride.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” he said.
“The biggest difference is just the consistent velocities I’m seeing at the plate and the depth of the bullpens. It’s a lot to take in at once and you’re going to have ups and downs, but I’m just trying to be as consistent as possible.”
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks didn’t hesitate to force Doughty into a position change since being signed on June 17. How quickly you ask? In each of his four appearances thus far, the SSC’s top shortstop in 2015 has been penciled in at third base.
Transitioning to the hot corner, and into the American Association of Independent Baseball, Doughty notched his first career hit in his second start against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
In a league dotted with ex-teammates, including Scott Carcaise and Ryan McChesney, Ward got off to a promising start with the back-to-back Frontier League Champion Schaumberg Boomers.
However, since his debut, in which he tossed two scoreless innings in an 8-1 victory over the Frontier Greys, Ward has been on the disabled list. The Boomers are currently 15-21.
“It’s everything I imagined it to be,” Allen said. “It’s a challenge, but you have to remain confident at all times.”