Oakland A’s: Austin Allen getting another chance
By David Hill
Austin Allen has not had much of a chance to show what he could do at the major league level. With just 103 plate appearances in the backup role, Allen has struggled to get his footing and make an impact. It did not seem as though that chance was going to happen in Oakland as he was ticketed to the minors again, with Aramis Garcia taking over as the backup catcher.
But Allen is getting another look. As Garcia has been placed on the Injured List due to illness, Allen has been summoned to take his place.
Austin Allen getting another look with Oakland A’s
At minimum, Allen will be getting a ten day trial to prove himself. That is not exactly a lot of time, but he was considered a bat first catcher as a prospect, but that has yet to manifest in the majors. Allen has a career .208/.262/.292 batting line in those 103 plate appearances, hitting a homer and five doubles while striking out 35 times.
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However, Allen’s track record in the minors shows why he was expected to develop into a solid hitter. He produced a .296/.354/.490 batting line in 1998 minor league plate appearances, hitting 75 homers and 121 doubles. Allen had three consecutive seasons where he hit over 20 homers, showing the power that made scouts feel he could be a viable major league option.
Allen is not likely to get extended time behind the plate during his stint in the majors. Sean Murphy has seized the starting role for his own, and with his pedigree as a top prospect, is not going to be displaced any time soon. However, Garcia has not produced with the bat at all this year, posting an OPS+ of 17 before being place on the Injured List.
There is an opportunity there. Allen will need to make the most of his limited chances, but if he can show that his success in the minors can carry over, he may be able to supplant Garcia as the A’s backup catcher. It would be a matter of whether or not the team values Garcia’s defense or Allen’s offensive potential more.
Austin Allen is back with the Oakland A’s. Although he may not be back for long, he is getting another chance to show what he can do.