Allen landed a well over-slot bonus in 2017’s third round out of high school, lauded at the amateur level for his excellent defense, solid contact skills, and polished instincts. It took some time for his bat to show any life at the pro level, but his prospect stock is trending up after a .296/.367/.455 showing in the first half en route to an all-star bid in the California League.
Allen is quite short, listed at only 5-foot-8 and perhaps an inch or two beneath that. While he won’t ever be much of a power threat, the bat-to-ball skill is plus and his ability to shoot the gaps has improved with strength gains. Allen makes consistent line drive contact to both fields, rarely striking out and putting pressure on the defense with solid speed. His mix of quickness and instincts makes him a stolen base threat, projecting for double-digit swipes over a full season. Allen’s best tools are on defense, where he’s extremely polished at shortstop with a very quick first step and the fastest transfer many scouts have seen in years. His raw arm-strength is more average than plus from the deep hole, but Allen’s footwork and release play it up given the speed with which he gets rid of the ball.
Though he’s certainly cut from a different cloth than the tall, offensive-minded shortstop of today’s era, the sum of Allen’s parts could make him a throwback everyday infielder that sets the table at the top of a big league lineup. He will need to hit and reach base enough to fulfill that ceiling, though his offensive improvements in 2019 suggest the bat is trending in the right direction. Even if Allen falls short of that upside, his defensive wizardry and fundamental game raise the floor and could make him a bench piece.