Nick Allen has been one of the more intriguing prospects on the Oakland A’s since he was drafted. His defense was already close to major league ready as a third round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, but it was a question of whether or not he would hit. Allen showed progress on that end in 2019, but the A’s needed more than a one year blip on the radar.
That was especially the case following a lost 2020 campaign. Allen, who had continued to move up the A’s prospect rankings, needed to show that he could continue those strides in 2021. He also had a big stage to prove himself on, as he was named to the US Olympic Baseball Team.
Nick Allen proves ready in Olympic competition
Even though the US team brought home the Silver after a 2-0 loss to Japan, Allen did what he could. He was 3-4 with a double in the game, continuing an excellent Olympic showing. He had six hits in 21 at bats, with two doubles and a homer, showing that he could play with some of the best international competition available.
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That showing continues what had been a stellar performance at Double-A this season. Allen had put together a .319/.374/.471 batting line in his 229 plate appearances, missing time due to the Qualifying Round as well. He has displayed more power in that time, hitting a career best six homers and nine doubles.
Allen was likely to find his way to the majors on the strength of his glove. If nothing else, he was expected to be a defense first utility man, someone that could slot around the infield as needed. However, there was a question of whether or not he would hit enough to be anything more than that.
It appears as though that question has been answered. Allen’s showing in the Olympics, and in the Qualifying Round, have proven that his success in the minors is not a fluke. He is ready to ascend as a key piece of the Oakland A’s future, a future that could begin as soon as next season.
Nick Allen was one of the best players for the US Olympic Team. That performance may well have been his coming out party to the baseball world.