The Braves drafted Kolby Allard with the 14th overall pick in the 2015 Draft, which was viewed at the time by some as a bit of a gamble, due to some injury concerns. There was no doubting the talent, as Allard would’ve been viewed favorably as perhaps a Top-5 pick if not for a back injury that hampered him in his last year of high school. The pick came in the middle of the rebuild, during a time that the front office seemed to be placing bets on any pitcher whose injury concerns drove down their cost, so in that sense, Allard was a perfect pick.
Allard made his major league debut in 2018, making three appearances (one start) and giving up 11 ER in eight innings. There were concerns about his fastball velocity and despite a small sample size, it didn’t seem that he was doing much to fool major league hitters. Despite these numbers, he still was able to put together the best season by a pitcher named after a cheese since “Pepper” Jack O’Connor in 1891.
Allard entered the 2019 season with what appeared to be relatively low expectations, and was able to meet them, starting 20 games for Gwinnett with a 4.17 ERA and giving up 119 hits in 110 innings. He struck out 8 per 9 innings, however, which was a tick higher than his 2018 strikeout numbers in Triple-A. Allard seemed like a lame duck, though, as his future with Atlanta was limited as other pitching prospects surpassed him, so a change of pace was pretty clearly what he needed. He was traded to Texas for Chris Martin on July 30.
Allard was called up to the majors almost immediately with Texas, and made nine starts in 2019, giving up 25 earned runs in 45 1/3 innings pitched. While it was certainly an improvement over his brief time with the Braves in 2018, he again allowed far too many baserunners to be successful. Allard brought us Chris Martin and both of his oblique muscles along with him, and Martin pitched well, helping to fortify what was a weak bullpen in the early part of the year. His oblique muscles, however…well, we won’t talk about that.
We wish Kolby the best going forward. Hopefully he can become an instrumental part in making the Rangers into a successful team.