It would be difficult to guess who leads Oakland A’s position players in bWAR this season. The usual suspects are no longer on the team. Ramon Laureano missed the first few weeks and took some time to find himself. Sean Murphy has not hit much. Seth Brown has hit for power, making him a possible candidate. Instead, the leader happens to be Nick Allen.
The fact that Allen leads A’s position players in bWAR is surprising just based on his playing time. He has appeared in just 20 games this season, having been brought up to the majors twice before his most recent stint.
Nick Allen making his presence felt for Oakland A’s
At this point, he may not return to Las Vegas. Allen is riding a seven game hitting streak as he has posted a .246/.328/.368 batting line in his 64 plate appearances. He may not be hitting the ball hard, or hitting many line drives, but he is making contact and finding the gaps in the defense.
His glove has been as advertised as well. While Allen may be the future at short, he has taken over at second base, saving three runs while showing above average range. He has been impressive at short as well, with above average range there also, even if he has not had as many chances.
The question with Allen was always whether or not he would hit enough to be a starter. The glove was considered close to major league ready when he was drafted out of high school, but his ceiling would be determined by how well he could swing the bat.
Those questions are still there. However, Allen is providing the type of defense that should give him a relatively long leash. If the A’s could give Cristian Pache over 200 plate appearances while he was the worst hitter in the majors, they can do the same with Allen, especially as he has been their best position player this year.
Nick Allen may not be hitting rockets around the ballpark. However, the Oakland A’s rookie infielder is proving that he belongs in the majors.