Greg Allen

Position: CF
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: Akron RubberDucks
Age: 23 yrs, 5m
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 175
B/T: Both / Right
Acquired: 6th Rd., 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft (CLE)

Prospect Spotlight

While “Believe-land” didn’t land Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers when the catcher invoked his no-trade rights, there was definitely some let-down among Tribe fans.  However, in a year or so, when Allen is running down balls in center field and getting on base at the top of the lineup, people will be happy that Lucroy favored Texas BBQ over, well…whatever it is they eat in Brown-town.

Allen is very unassuming in stature, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in fast-twitch strength and bat control.  Since being taken in the 6th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of San Diego State, Allen has been an on-base machine with plus defense in center field.  On top of that, since his first full season in 2015 through today he has found some pop, with 51 doubles and 13 HRs over 960 ABs.

Allen works out of a slight crouch at the plate and has pretty simple mechanics – he stays short to the ball and does a very good job getting the barrel out front creating good backspin.  He uses the whole field and really has a good feel for the strike zone.  To give you a better idea of how good, he has not had an OBP lower than .361 since his draft year in 2014, and has increased each year since – .367 in 2015 and .412 so far this season.  After walking 58 times and striking out 51 times in High A, he has turned in 15 walks to 22 Ks through 31 games since his promotion to Double-A in late July.   He is 23 years old now, and will play most of 2017 at 24, but he’s only in his second full season of pro ball, and is already showing improvement in all the right areas.

Defensively he should stay in center field – in my short look he got great jumps going into both gaps and was very comfortable going back on balls.  He doesn’t throw real well (40 grade), but his throws are accurate and didn’t show much tail.  I didn’t get a good run time on him down the line, but the first step quickness in the outfield and the 120 bags he’s stolen since signing suggest that he is a plus runner.

I can see similarities in Allen and Andrew Toles (OF, Dodgers)–both see the ball very well and know the strike zone (Allen actually looks to be the better on-base guy).  Both have feel for the barrel and while they are not big power guys, generate some bat speed, have the ability to do damage, and are enormous threats to take the extra base.  The slightly-older Toles had no trouble galloping through the minor leagues this season only to then lay waste to big league pitching since his call up last month (.397/.463/1.152 i first 58 ABs).  I liked what I saw from Allen this summer and apparently the Brewers did too.  No doubt Lucroy would have helped the Indians on both sides of the ball this year and next  but if Allen stays on his current, pace the best trade for the Indians in 2016 might be the one that didn’t happen.