Allen Webster: Full Scouting Report on Prospect Dealt for Adrian Gonzalez

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Allen Webster: Full Scouting Report on Prospect Dealt for Adrian Gonzalez
Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe

Allen Webster is one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ prospects headed to the Boston Red Sox, and he has the potential to be an excellent pitcher down the road.

According to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, the blockbuster deal will land Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Becket, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto in L.A., with James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus and Jerry Sands to the Red Sox.

The deal gives the Dodgers several big-name and big-money players for a playoff run, while Boston is cutting salary and gaining a significant amount of flexibility in the deal.

De La Rosa is the main prize for the Red Sox, with Webster, De Jesus and Sands all likely to factor in the team’s future plans. Here is everything you need to know about Webster.

 

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Position: RHP

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 185 pounds 

Age: 22

Draft: 18th round, 2008, out of high school (Madison, N.C.)

Experience: three years in minor leagues

 

How He Fits 

The Boston pitching staff is in need of a makeover, and the team is doing well to add young pitchers while getting rid of an overpaid and under-performing veteran like Beckett.

Webster is the second-ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system, according to Baseball America. The site also ranked him the 95th-best prospect in all of baseball in February.

He has spent this past season with the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Double-A Southern League. The righty has gone 6-8 in 27 games with a 3.55 ERA and 117 strikeouts and 57 walks.

There is no doubt that he has the talent to be a fixture in the Boston rotation. As a young player with plenty of potential, he is an ideal fit for the new direction the Red Sox are going in via this trade.

 

Why He Will Succeed

Webster is an unusual prospect because he didn't receive any attention until the tail end of his senior season of high school.

Brendan Quinn of Nooga.com notes that Webster played shortstop throughout high school and was never heavily recruited because of his subpar hitting skills. However, a scout clocked him in the low 90s during a relief appearance and sent word to the Dodgers.

With professional coaching in the minor leagues, Webster has made a vast amount of progress on his journey from raw prospect to major league pitcher. He understands that he still has much to learn and has been willing to work on his skill set throughout his time in the farm leagues.

Quinn quotes him saying, “I’m a totally different pitcher than when I first got in. I’m a more mature pitcher. I’m starting to learn what to do with the batters. The more I throw, the more I see stuff.”

Webster’s willingness to improve his craft is an ideal quality in a prospect with his capabilities. He has all the tools to succeed in Boston.

Photo courtesy of Chattanoogan.com

 

Why He is Risky

When Webster made the jump to Double-A ball, he struggled significantly. As David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free Press notes, he started the 2012 season with a 1-5 record and a 7.49 ERA. Paschall also notes that he hit a stretch where he gave up 22 runs in three starts.

It is possible that Webster could run into the same problems when he makes the leap from the minor leagues to the majors.

He will face a significant amount of pressure now that he has been thrust into the national spotlight as part of the biggest trade of the season. There is no guarantee for how a young, raw pitcher will deal with these expectations.

A rocky start to his career could destroy his confidence or cause the Red Sox coaches to lose faith in him. The first couple of seasons of his career will be crucial to his long-term success with the club, and he will face enormous expectations in every outing.

 

Prediction

Webster will develop into a solid starter in the Red Sox's rotation. While he may never make an All-Star game, he certainly has the potential to reach that level.

If he does turn into a productive member of the rotation, then the Red Sox have already done well to replace Beckett, who was inconsistent and unreliable for a player making north of $15 million per year.

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