SKYLAND — Roberson freshman Logan Allen says matter-of-factly that he can throw a circle changeup and a slurve.
The young pitcher with exceptional breaking stuff ran out of arms and hands to carry all his winnings from Saturday’s awards ceremony for the IMG Academy baseball program’s 14 and under wood bat baseball league in Bradenton, Fla.
Allen was named the league’s most valuable player and pitcher, as well as the MVP for his team, the Storm. The ninth grader also received a pair of plaques to recognize him for being named the IMG pitcher of the week twice.
“I just wanted to go down there and do my best,” Allen said. “It was really exciting and a lot of work. The training was unbelievable, and I really felt like I improved.”
Allen, 14, is a left-hander who also throws a more conventional fastball and changeup. His fastball’s velocity has topped out at 82 miles per hour.
Allen was 4-1-1 with a save for the Storm in the IMG league, which began July 15. He had a 1.73 earned run average and 38 strikeouts in 28 1-3 innings. Allen also batted .409 with 10 RBIs and six stolen bases.
IMG also provides athletes the chance to participate in paid camps for basketball, football, golf, lacrosse and soccer. The tennis offering is the famed Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
Allen’s mother, Dale, spent all four weeks with her son in western Florida, often picking him up at the IMG complex after 12-hour days of baseball.
Allen’s coach at the IMG Academy was former major league player Dave Moates. New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez is among current pros who train at IMG in the offseason.
“We had heard that it was the No. 1 baseball academy in the nation,” Dale Allen said. “It’s a huge, incredible place. You have to really love the game, and I mean really love the game, to be part of something like this. And Logan loves this game.”
Logan Allen was gifted enough to play for Carolina Day’s varsity team as an eighth grader. However, he has no illusions about walking into Roberson and setting the high school baseball world on fire.
“I’m a little nervous about it,” Allen said.
“(Roberson) is such a great program, and a lot of big names have come out of there. I just want to take it one small step at a time. Maybe make the (junior varsity) team as a freshman and then varsity as a sophomore. I know that being in the paper or getting attention isn’t going to guarantee me anything.”