Phillies sign Kolby Allard: All you need to know about the former 14th overall pick

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Phillies batting helmets sit on the wall during the MLB game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on September 19, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed relief pitcher Kolby Allard to a one-year, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon. The 26-year-old left-handed pitcher provides depth for Philly’s talented pitching staff.

Who is Kolby Allard?

Allard, a California native, was selected 14th overall in the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft by the Atlanta Braves. He first appeared in the big leagues in 2018, got traded to the Texas Rangers in the following offseason, and then traded back to Atlanta ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Allard’s 2023 season was marred by injuries. An oblique strain from spring training pushed back his season debut to June. He made four appearances, three of which were starts, before suffering nerve inflammation in his left shoulder and missing the rest of the season. He also suffered from back injuries earlier in his career.

In his 12.1 innings last season, Allard posted an ERA of just 6.57. His career ERA across 245.0 innings, most of which came in 2021, is a measly 6.10. At this point in his career, Allard’s most notable MLB skill is his ability to prevent walks, sporting a career walk percentage of 7.8 percent.

The most common pitch Allard throws is his four-seam fastball that averaged 90.5 miles per hour in 2023, just short of the MLB average and below his averages from his prior four seasons, each of which saw an average of at least 91 MPH. His arsenal also includes a curveball, changeup, and cutter.

The Phillies make a minor splash

Allard’s contract is worth $1 million with $125,000 in incentives and a minor-league option, according to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb. With the Phillies already having five options for their starting rotation, a bullpen with proven arms, and an up-and-comer in Orion Kerkering, Allard will likely be used mostly as injury insurance.

Philadelphia’s bullpen has been in need of an addition following the departure of Craig Kimbrel and the recent signings of Josh Hader, Jordan Hicks and Brent Suter by playoff contenders. While the Phillies had other, more notable options, they have decided to roll the dice on a pitcher with top-prospect pedigree that is about to hit his prime.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire