The Padres’ system is so stacked with high-upside pitchers that it is easy to lose track of the incredible depth they’ve amassed, or even forget that a top #5-10 prospect in this system would be #1-5 in most others. Allen–a strong-bodied lefty with four pitches who is set to open 2018 in Double-A before his 21st birthday–is one of those guys.
This isn’t your traditional command/control back-end lefty. Allen ran his lively fastball up to 94 mph, sitting 91-to-93 mph. His fastball is a future-plus pitch featuring angle, velocity, and command that projects to be an above-average offering. His best secondary was a hard, short 85-to-88 mph slider that he confidently worked backfoot to righties and could bring front door to lefties. Along with his fastball, the slider also projects as a 60-grade pitch. Allen’s change is still in progress, but it flashes enough fade to keep hitters off the fastball already. It is at leaset an average third pitch, one that could finish a half-grade better if he develops more feel. A slower, loopy curveball is used as a wrinkle to give a second look at his breaking ball.
The amount of strikeouts he has induced during his professional career support his ability to use a broad arsenal. Below Double-A, hitters aren’t at all used to seeing four-pitch guys with this many quality offerings. His command and control will need to move forward in order for him to reach his ceiling, but given his age and clean delivery, I expect that development to occur. Add it all up and the ceiling is a mid-rotation lefty capable of filling in the #3 or #4 spot.