Joe Allen's summer didn't start with the momentum of a potential first-round pick. The Winnacunnet High (N.H.) ace right-hander closed out his junior season in June by getting outpitched by Jonah Wachter in the NHIA Division 1 state championship game. While Allen's performance in a 4-0 loss wasn't bad, it certainly raised questions as to how he'd fare on the elite summer showcase series heading into his senior season.
It's safe to say Allen passed the test -- and may have even boosted his stock into the range of that of a potential first-round pick. Allen recently returned home to New Hampshire after serving as the lone New England selection on the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Allen was dominant in five scoreless innings over two appearances. He flashed a low-90s fastball with a plus changeup and slider, recording seven strikeouts without issuing a walk.
"I've played with talent behind me before, but this was a different type of talent," Allen said. "You look around behind you, and it's the best players in the country at every position. If you pitch to contact, they make the plays no matter what. It's the best of the best. It's almost a calming feeling on the mound."
Allen's all-important rising senior summer included his participation in the PDP League, East Coast Pro Showcase, Area Code Games, 18U National Team Trials and the USA Baseball Friendship Cup. Let's take a look at how Allen boosted his draft stock each step of the way.