Panthers Star Pitcher Drafted By Cleveland Indians

Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Richard Gibson/Staff Writer

Although the 2020 baseball season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic,  ace pitcher Logan Allen has been drafted by the Cleveland Indians.

Allen, the left-hander from Deltona, was selected with the 56th pick in the second round. This makes Allen the third-highest player drafted in program history, and the 17th player from FIU to make it to the show.

Even before FIU, it was clear that Allen had potential. Playing at University High in Orange City, Allen earned the 2017 Florida Gatorade Player of the Year Award. He also earned the Spectrum Player of the Year Award twice, and the Daytona Beach News-Journal Player of the Year Award three times.

In his first year at FIU, Allen recorded a 3.89 ERA, allowing 74 hits, 38 runs, and throwing 85 strikeouts. His record was split, earning five wins and five losses. At bat, he recorded 43 hits, five doubles, two home runs, and 16 runs batted in. For his efforts, he was named to the All-Conference USA Second Team and All-Conference USA Freshman Team.

Allen improved at the mound in 2019, earning a 3.11 ERA. He allowed 71 hits, 41 runs, and recorded 120 strikeouts. His hitting game was still on point, recording 21 hits and three home runs, despite having only 76 at-bats. His 120 strikeouts is seventh in program history. His performance earned him a spot on the All-Conference USA First Team.

Before 2020 began, Allen was named the C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year. In his junior year, Allen recorded a record low 2.45 ERA. He allowed 17 hits with nine runs, recording two wins and one loss. In 14 at-bats, Allen earned four hits and two runs. Despite a shortened season due to COVID-19, Allen declared for the MLB draft.

Allen joins the Cleveland Indians of the American League. The Indians have been in play since 1901, and have won two World Series championships in 1920 and 1948. They made it to the World Series in 2016 but lost to the Chicago Cubs- their first championship in 108 years. 

In the 2019 season, the Indians recorded 93 wins and 69 losses, placing second in the AL Central behind the Minnesota Twins, and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015. They performed well against the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Los Angeles Angels, but lost matchups to the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Cleveland’s pitching staff includes Shane Bieber, Carlos Carrasco, and Mike Clevinger. Out of their 12 pitchers, only two are left-handed. Surprisingly, Cleveland already has a pitcher named Logan Allen on their roster- who they acquired from the San Diego Padres in 2019 in exchange for pitcher Trevor Bauer.

Cleveland’s pitching staff is solid but can improve. Their combined ERA in the 2019 season was 3.76, which was third-best in the AL. That said, the combined percentage of innings pitched per pitcher was 1437.2, which was just 12th best. In the AL, pitchers are given designated hitters, which means Allen won’t be at bat unless they’re playing an NL team on the road.

In order for Allen to make it big in the MLB, he’ll need to stay consistent, pitching as long as he can per game. Cleveland’s total earned runs in 2019 was 769, which is seventh-best in the AL. Allen can’t give up runs early, keeping the game even between Cleveland and the opposing team. If he can meet expectations, Allen might just help Cleveland to the playoffs, and possibly their first World Series win in 71 years.

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