Nick Allen has a very easy path to the majors. As long as he can hit with some level of proficiency, his glove will lead to a role with the Oakland A’s. That has long been the question with Allen, although the A’s believed in his potential enough to hand him an over-slot bonus to bring in their third round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Allen showed some potential with the bat in 2019, producing a respectable .292/.363/.434 batting line over his 328 plate appearances, hitting 22 doubles while stealing 13 bases. It may have just been in the California League, but as he was young for the level, it was a reason for hope.
Nick Allen the best defensive prospect in the Oakland A’s system
No matter how proficient Allen gets with the bat, his glove will chart his course to the majors. Even with his advanced approach, there is a question of whether he will ever hit enough to become more than bottom of the order bat or a utility player.
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But his defense is without question. His prowess with the glove, as well as his instincts and impressive arm, have already led scouts to project him as a Gold Glove candidate when he reaches the A’s. That defensive acumen led to Allen being named as the shortstop on the minor league All Defense Team heading into this year.
Allen was not the only member of the A’s to be so honored. Buddy Reed was also a part of the All Defense Team, as the A’s were the only franchise to have two players named to the squad. While Reed would normally be able to stake a claim as the best defensive prospect in any system, Allen still holds the upper hand.
It is possible that his defense will take center stage in Oakland soon. The A’s still do not have a shortstop at this point, with Vimael Machin currently atop the depth chart at the position. If Allen impresses in spring training, the job could be his.
Nick Allen has been named as the Oakland A’s best defensive prospect. It may not be long until that defense brings him to the majors.