The Texas Rangers have reportedly traded reliever Chris Martin to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for 21-year-old left-handed starting pitcher Kolby Allard.
Per Ken Rosenthal of the MLB Network, the Texas Rangers have traded reliever Chris Martin to the Atlanta Braves for 21-year-old left-handed pitcher Kolby Allard. The departure of Martin comes as little surprise, as he is 33 years old and a pending free agent. That said, the return does come as a nice surprise.
Widely considered the top farm system in Major League Baseball, the Braves have Allard ranked as their #10 prospect. He was selected 14th overall in the 2015 draft out of San Clemente High School in California. He’s made 20 starts at Triple-A this season and is sporting a 7-5 record with a 4.17 ERA.
Allard did make his big league debut with Atlanta last July. He faced the Miami Marlins, tossing five innings, allowing four earned runs and fanning one. He made two more appearances in August, totaling three innings pitched and combining to allow seven runs.
Here’s a scouting report snippet from MLB.com on the young left-hander:
"“Allard’s fastball comes in at 88-93 mph, grading out as fringy based only on velocity, but it plays up to average because he commands the pitch well. Both his changeup and curve can be above-average, but neither present themselves as true out pitches at the big league level. He’s a good strike-thrower, but needs pinpoint command to have success in Atlanta.”"
So he’s not a flamethrower, though not many southpaws are. He is however a control pitcher with great feel for his offspeed pitches. That’s an encouraging sign given his age.
We’ll get a stone-cold grade on this trade soon, but first reaction is it’s a win for the Texas Rangers. There was no reason to keep Chris Martin around, and they took full advantage of the dominant two months of work he’s put forth leading up to the trade deadline.
It seems Texas picked from the right farm system, too. We’ll see where Kolby Allard fits into his new team’s prospect rankings, though I think it’s safe to say it will be in the top seven.
The Rangers continue to stockpile young arms, maintaining the theory that at least a handful of them will pay off in franchise-altering fashion. I also like that they acquired a player who has already stepped foot in a major league game. If all goes well, we’ll be talking about Allard for a rotation spot when spring training rolls around.