Florida Tech’s Austin Allen Selected In MLB Draft By San Diego Padres
By Florida Tech // June 10, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – A moment sure to never be forgotten, elation spread from coast to coast when the San Diego Padres officially selected Florida Tech catcher Austin Allen as the No. 117 pick in the fourth round of Tuesday’s MLB Draft.
Anxiously awaiting with family at his home in Kirkwood, Missouri, Allen gushed with joy and relief after he was called and congratulated by the Padres’ area scout.
“Oh man, I don’t even know how to describe it,” he said.
“My whole family just erupted. There were a lot of calls being made, then the phone stopped ringing for a couple minutes and my name got called. I’m very thankful and very blessed that the Padres are taking a chance on me, and giving me the opportunity to possibly get to the big leagues one day.”
A culmination of hard work and dedication, Allen will now officially be synonymous with Panther greats after going undrafted out of Chaminade High School in 2012.
At No. 117, he now becomes the highest draft selection in program history, even four rounds ahead of World Series Champion Tim Wakefield.
The 6-foot-4 backstop also earned the right to be the first NCAA Division II position player off the board, the first Sunshine State Conference player and the first from Florida Tech since Scott Carcaise was nabbed by the Miami Marlins in 2013.
The scouts had a difficult time passing up the power and disciplined approach displayed from the left side of the plate by Allen throughout 2015.
Allen blasted 11 home runs as a junior, including a no-doubter at the NCAA South Regional versus eventual-National Champion Tampa, equaling his total from his freshman and sophomore campaigns combined.
In addition, Allen secured ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American after claiming the SSC batting title (.421 average) and breaking the school’s single-season record with 25 doubles.
“I can’t say thank you enough to Coach (Greg) Berkemeier and Coach (Matt) Mercurio for just giving me the chance to come to Florida Tech and play,” he said.
“I’ve always hoped to get drafted, but I never thought it’d be this high. To have that honor is an unbelievable feeling. To know the players that have come before me, it’s a sign that our program is on the up and coming.”
According to the scouting report from MLB.com Allen can make an impact regardless of position.
“One of the best Division II talents in the country, Allen can really swing the bat. He has plus bat speed from the left side of the plate with a good overall approach that should allow him to hit for average. He has plenty of power and could have even more as he learns to pull the ball more when needed.
His overall catching is a work in progress, as he has limited agility, but many think he has the chance to stick behind the plate. He does have decent hands and good raw arm strength, though his exchange and footwork make his overall arm just average. Even if a team isn’t sure Allen can be a catcher long-term, there’s a good chance one will buy the bat.”
Now Allen will have the opportunity to showcase his ability against some of the best talent at the highest possible level within the Padres organization.
Regardless of where his first stop may be along his journey to the majors Allen said, “I’m a guy that’s going to compete every day, and work to be the best I can be both offensively and defensively every single day. Some people write me off as a catcher, but it just gives me more incentive to prove them wrong.”
Allen’s Florida Tech teammate, Kevin Wortman, is in the running as one of 10 finalists remaining for the TD Ameritrade Fan’s Choice Award.
Fans are heavily encouraged to view his profile, and vote daily through Facebook, Twitter and a registered email address by visiting www.fanschoiceaward.com
Wortman’s nomination can be promoted by using the hashtag #VoteWort.