Nick Allen, SS, A’s

The scouts haven’t focused that much on Nick Allen, so it’s up to us to figure out what the A’s have in him.
Video courtesy of Baseball.
  • Born: October 8, 1998
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 5’9″, 166lb
  • Signed by the Oakland A’s in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Parker HS (San Diego, CA).

The Numbers

Those are his raw numbers, and they are already aggregated by level, but let’s focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

The speed has always been there, the strikeout rate is ever-so-slowly improving, and the walk rate hovers around 8%. That’s Nick, year after year.

The power was lacking, though in 2019 it took a big step forward, and that’s nice to see. Hard hit percentage was still sub-par at 26% though.

The OBP took a giant step forward, and since it wasn’t his walk rate improving that much, it was his hits that brought his BA to .292 from 2018’s .239. His Hit% went from 21.5% in 2018 to 25.6% in 2019. That helped.

He loves hitting against lefties, but his line against righties is merely OK, not great by any means.
He has pull power on his home runs, and there they are, all four of ’em, out to left field. His doubles are skewed that way too, but he is hitting opposite field triples, and quite a few doubles too, so there’s hope.
There it is, his 2019 breakout. I love it when a graph yells out something obvious. This was the year Nick Allen put himself back on the map. An .800 OPS is much bettter than his career .673. That’s the difference between hitting second and hitting eighth in the lineup.

The Scouts

Warnings

He’s 5’9″ and weighs only 166 pounds. How much power can we ever expect from that body?

Is his line against righties the hint that he will be platooned one day, and bad-side platooned?

Will AA continue his improvement trend, or will it be a big test for him?

His season ended early with a high ankle sprain. I assume he is healthy, but let’s see it in more than 6 plate appearances he had this spring.

Conclusion

His defense is great, and I really like his batting eye drawing some walks and especially not striking out much. He has speed too, so this is the kind of bat that you can put at the bottom of the lineup and he can get on base for the top of the order guys to drive in.

But that’s only true if the limited power he showed in A+ carries into the higher levels. He’s 21, not 17, so he’s not going to grow that much at this point. Yet if he can keep a .160 or .170 ISO, and maintain a good eye, and let his defense carry him to the majors, he could be a decent regular, but not likely more than that.

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