Oakland A’s: A question of depth at shortstop
By David Hill
Instead of hoping that Pete Kozma can continue his run from spring training, or that Vimael Machin can defend the position, why not see what the kid can do?
Nick Allen had his breakout minor league campaign in 2019, posting a .292/.363/.434 batting line with 22 doubles and three homers in his 328 plate appearances in the California League. That is also the highest minor league level that Allen has played at, as he has yet to progress beyond High-A due to the pandemic and canceled minor league season.
Nonetheless, he did show promise in spring training. Allen had a .290/.333/.387 batting line in his 33 plate appearances, hitting three doubles and striking out just four times. Had the A’s not acquired Elvis Andrus, it was possible that he could have earned the starting shortstop role.
It would not be a surprise to see Allen begin the season at Triple-A once the minor league campaign kicks off. His glove is already major league caliber; it has always been a question of whether or not he will do enough with the bat to be a viable starting option. His strong showing in 2019 gave hope that would be the case, but he needs to prove himself at the upper levels of the minors.
Should Nick Allen do so, he could be a long term option at shortstop for the Oakland A’s. If nothing else, he would be the perfect depth piece if something happened to Andrus.