ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves tonight selected left-handed pitcher Kolby Allard of San Clemente High School in San Clemente, Calif., with their first selection (14th overall) in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
Allard, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound left-hander, entered the 2015 season ranked by Baseball America as one of the top high school pitchers in the country and was also a first-team Perfect Game preseason All-America selection. He was limited during his senior campaign to three appearances, including two starts that totaled 7.0 innings, due to a stress reaction in his back.
"We're very pleased to be able to get what we consider one of the top pitchers in the draft. We were very excited he was still available at the time of our selection," said Brian Bridges, the Braves' director of scouting. "He is a great kid and someone we have targeted for some time. We are thrilled to add more pitching depth to our organization."
Allard entered the 2015 draft tabbed by Baseball America as the 18th-best prospect overall and the eighth-best pitching prospect. He was the starting pitcher (and the youngest player on the team) in the Gold Medal game for the USA Baseball 18U team in the 2014 Pan American championship game. In two official starts with the 18U National Team, he went 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA (1 ER/8.0 IP), striking out 14 batters and yielding just four hits. In 2014, he was named the Most Valuable Player in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
As a junior with the Tritons, Allard led the club with a career-best 63.2 innings pitched, compiling a 1.32 ERA (12 ER/63.2 IP) over 13 games (seven starts). He went 6-2 with one complete game and a pair of saves, while striking out 98 batters with just 17 walks. Allard amassed a 15-3 record with a 1.74 ERA (36 ER/144.2 IP) with 164 strikeouts over 34 games (11 starts) during his high school career.
A native of San Clemente, Calif., Allard signed a national letter of intent with the University of California at Los Angeles to play baseball for the Bruins this fall. He is the first left-handed pitcher selected by Atlanta in the first round since Sean Gilmartin was taken as the 28th overall pick in 2011 and the first left-handed high school pitcher in the first round since 2001 when Macay McBride was selected 24th overall.
Atlanta's second selection will be the 28th overall pick. The Braves have a Major League-high five selections within the first 75 picks during the opening night of the draft, including the 28th, 41st, 54th and 75th selections. The 40-round First-Year Player draft will continue Tuesday (June 9) at 1:00 p.m. ET with rounds three through 10 and will conclude Wednesday (June 10) at 12:00 p.m. ET with rounds 11 through 40. The Braves will select 14th in rounds three through 40.