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Draft  | Prospect Scouting Reports  | 3/17/2017

2017 MLB Draft Pack: March 17

David Rawnsley      Jheremy Brown     
Photo: Perfect Game

Once a week leading up to the 2017 MLB Draft Perfect Game will provide detailed scouting reports, and video (when available), on 10 of the top draft-eligible prospects. The first report each week will be available for free, the rest can be viewed with a PG Insider subscription. To learn more about Perfect Game’s subscription packages and to sign up today please visit this link.

Prospects covered this week: Nick Allen, Cole Brannen, Michael Gigliotti, Keston Hiura, Hunter Greene, D.L. Hall, Blaine Knight, Corbin Martin, Brendan McKay, Joe Perez.

Nick Allen – SS

Height/Weight: 5-9/154
Bats/Throws: R/R
Birthdate: Oct. 8, 1998
High School: Francis W. Parker
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Travel Team: CBA Marucci
Commitment: Southern California
Projected Draft Round: 1-2

One of the better defensive prospects to come through the Perfect Game ranks in recent years, Allen's glove is so talented and so consistent that evaluators came to almost expect a Gold Glove-caliber play from him every time he took the field. It's so much more than the flashy plays, like the plays he made at the Perfect Game All American Classic in August, that makes Allen's profiles so alluring, however. 

He's remarkably consistent and smooth with his glovework, making both the routine play and the tough play look easy with remarkable consistency, displaying high level footwork and glove actions with lots of range to both sides. Once considered a bit of a concern, his arm strength is now plenty for the shortstop position and grades out somewhere between average and above average on the MLB scouting scale. He's not a burner in terms of straight line speed, but his short-area quickness and tremendous instincts allow him to play the game at an extremely fast pace, something extremely uncommon for prep performers. 

The elephant in the room here, however, is that Allen is pretty undersized when looking at him from the perspective of an MLB team drafting in the first 1-2 rounds. The reality of the situation is that teams are concerned about how much strength Allen's frame will be able to eventually hold without sacrificing his twitchiness and defensive ability, and if that strength ceiling will be enough to be able to hit mid- to upper-90s with a wood bat and still drive the ball. Allen has shown remarkable progress over the years with his hitting ability, going from a slap-and-run type of prospect to a player who can legitimately turn around velocity and drive the ball into the gaps. He's never going to have a bunch of home run power, and though the Dustin Pedroia comparisons are apt in some ways, Allen is unlikely to ever hit 30 home runs in the MLB.

Essentially, where Allen gets selected is going to boil down to how much teams believe he'll hit and how much authority those same teams believe he'll be able to hit with. One of the more interesting dynamics of the '17 draft class has been Allen's development over the past nine months or so (and even before that), and even with three months still to go until draft day the dynamic remains as interesting as ever. (BS)

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