MLB Draft Profile – Diminutive High School SS Nick Allen Plays Big, Has Makeup Cubs Covet
Everything that I have read about Nick Allen is highly complementary. Whether it’s a scouting report or a newspaper article, Allen is always portrayed in an extremely positive light. Scouts rave about his ability to control the bat, his defense, and his mental makeup. In most of the mock drafts I have seen, he falls anywhere from the low 20’s to the low 30’s. That’s right in the Cubs’ spot.
However, when it comes to projecting Allen’s talent, every report contains only one concern about his future: height. He could hit .400 with a .500 OBP and yet there are scouts who would still be overwhelmingly concerned with his relatively short stature and, as a result, his lack of power. I mean, we’ve seen how that has hurt Jose Altuve, right?
There have been plenty of vertically-challenged players who have come through the league and had successful, even Hall of Fame, careers. Allen is not tall, but that doesn’t stop him from being an outstanding baseball player.
The high schooler has been called the best defensive shortstop in the draft, even ahead of possible top ten pick Royce Lewis.
If the Cubs selected Allen, he would have plenty of time to develop his offensive skills, which are already quite good. He can spray the ball all over the field and is also known to work a count to get on base. I am not too concerned about the lack of power; not everybody’s going to hit 10 home runs, let alone 20 or 30. If Allen can play defense and get on base, I think that’s all you need.
He is an outstanding four-tool player and fits the general mold of what the Cubs look for in the players they acquire.
Nick Allen – Shortstop, Francis Parker HS (Calif.)
5-9, 165 pounds
Great range, arm, and feet on defense
Areas of Concern
Lack of power
What Others Say
Scout.com has the following on the young middle infielder:
Allen is instant offense. He brings a skill set that puts the defense on edge. His bat control allows him to sting balls to all fields. His speed forces every grounder to be fielded cleanly and thrown quickly. Once he gets on base, his 6.56 second 60 speed makes him capable of swiping second and third base — sometimes on back-to-back pitches.
He brings intangibles that are off the charts. While his peers are looking to the third base coach as they round second base when a ball is hit to right field, Allen already knows if he can take an extra base.
Because of his size, I think Allen could slide to the compensation round. At worst, he would not last much into the second round. From all accounts, he is a baseball rat with a great makeup, the kind of player the Cubs covet. Though he’s committed to USC, first-round money might be enough to make him think twice about enrolling in the fall.