Nick Allen heating up at Double-A
By David Hill
For a time, Nick Allen was the only true shortstop on the Oakland A’s roster. Although he was not likely to be seriously considered for a major league role just yet, that stature promised that he would get a long look in spring training. However, his time would not come until later in the season, if it was to come at all in 2021.
The biggest reason was due to questions about his offense. Allen had performed well in 2019 at High-A, but had his season cut short due to an ankle injury. His production was not there in the Arizona Fall League that year, and he missed key development time in 2020 due to the pandemic. The A’s wanted to make sure that he was ready.
Nick Allen heating up with the bat
Defensively, Allen would be a Gold Glove candidate at short right now. His glove, footwork, and arm are all exemplary, allowing him to make the difficult play seem routine. When he does arrive in the majors, his presence, alongside Matt Chapman, will give Oakland a formidable left side of the infield when it comes to the glove.
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Those concerns with the bat seemed valid at the start of the season. Allen was 0-12 to begin his time in Double-A in 2021, making that impressive run in 2019 appear to be an outlier. But since that slow start to the season, Allen has heated up, notching four three hit games over the past week to bring his batting line up to .364/.455/.432 on the year.
That batting line essentially encapsulates Allen’s scouting report with the bat. He will make contact, but has limited power. Any extra base hits are likely to be doubles or triples, with his speed helping him to take that extra base more than an ability to muscle the ball into the gap. That may change as he develops and gets stronger, but Allen profiles as a bottom of the order hitter at best currently.
To be fair, that is all that the A’s would need him to be. His defensive acumen all but guarantees that he will start provided that he is somewhat competent with the bat. Considering how he has performed in the minors over the past two seasons, he may be even more than that.
Nick Allen is heating up at Double-A. If he continues to show this newfound ability to make consistent contact and get hits, he could be promoted soon.