NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Cody Allen was in camp with the Indians last spring, but only as an afterthought. He was a Minor League fill-in, giving Cleveland an extra body for the late innings of a couple exhibition games in case something went wrong.
Allen worked his way into some games, opened eyes and soared up the Minor League ladder and into the Major League bullpen in a matter of months. On Wednesday, the Indians honored Allen with the Bob Feller Award, recognizing the reliever as the team's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Outfielder Tim Fedroff took home the Lou Boudreau Award for Player of the Year.
"I totally believe I belong," Allen said at the end of this past season. "I've proven to myself and proven to other people that I think I belong here."
Next spring will be Allen's first officially in camp with Cleveland's big league club, and the young right-hander will head to Arizona as a near lock to make the Opening Day bullpen. A 23rd-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Allen made mincemeat of Minor League hitters over two seasons before convincing Cleveland to bring him north.
Last season, Allen began the year with Class A Carolina, but he swiftly advanced to Double-A Akron and then Triple-A Columbus. During his stay in the Minors last year, the hard-throwing righty posted a 1.87 ERA in 31 games, during which he piled up 53 strikeouts against nine walks in 43 1/3 innings.
In his two years on the farm, Allen went a combined 8-3 with a 1.74 ERA and 128 strikeouts against 23 walks in 98 innings.
In late July this past summer, the Tribe promoted Allen to its bullpen, where he worked as a middle reliever before being trusted with some late-inning opportunities late in the season. In 27 games for the Indians, Allen fashioned a 3.72 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 15 walks in 29 innings. He did not allow a run in his first 12 appearances in the big leagues.
"I learned a lot," Allen said of his time in the Majors. "I've learned a lot about pitching, about pitching out of the bullpen and stuff like that, but I also learned more and more about how to go about failure. Obviously, up here it's tougher. To be consistent, it takes a constant consistency throughout everything, not just the way you pitch."
Fedroff, 25, turned in a stellar showing between Double-A and Triple-A this past season, earning his way on the organization's 40-man roster earlier this winter.
In 123 games, Fedroff hit .316 with a .394 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage. He collected 12 home runs, 23 doubles, 10 triples, 14 stolen bases, 54 RBIs and 79 runs scored along the way. Fedroff, who was a seventh-round pick in the 2008 Draft, led the Indians' player development system with 148 hits.