The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Jay Allen, a phenomenal athlete with a very balanced profile in the outfield.
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Jay Allen, Outfielder, John Carroll Catholic (Fla.)
Weight: 190 lbs.
2018: 26G, .376/.465/.447, 32 H, 24 RBI, 0 HR, 8 BB, 17 K
2019: 25G, .394/.532/.507, 28 H, 9 RBI, 0 HR, 15 BB, 11 K
2020: 9G, .250/.500/.300, 5 H, 4 RBI, 0 HR, 6 BB, 7 K
2021: 28G, .357/.491/.571, 30 H, 14 RBI, 2 HR, 16 BB, 22 K
Evidently, Allen is a very balanced prospect who has shown promise in all facets of the game. Hitting and throwing are his best traits, though even his worst trait—power—has drawn the praise of scouts.
Hitting is Allen’s best tool. He’s demonstrated intelligence at the plate, using a high baseball IQ to learn from his mistakes and improve his swing. He has also done a good job refining his swing this past season in order that he reduce his strikeout rate. He succeeded in this effort, and he has also worked to both improve his pitch recognition and hit the ball to all parts of the field.
Allen is also a top-notch athlete, standing out in baseball, football, and basketball. His athleticism has served him well in center field. He’s demonstrated good range in attention to an impressive glove and very strong throwing arm. All three of these factors bode well for his defensive profile even though he’ll be drafted for his hitting ability.
As mentioned, Allen’s power is lacking. He hit just two homers over four prep seasons. Scouts do believe he will gain more pop as he becomes stronger, but right now, he’s a few steps behind in this department.
Allen’s running ability merely checks in around average, which doesn’t bode well for his future in center field. If teams truly believe he won’t play center long-term, his draft stock will absolutely take a hit. Without a doubt, it will be interesting to see how teams view the 18-year-old.
Pro Comparison: Manuel Margot
Margot may be slightly smaller than Allen, but they share similar playing profiles. Both are decent right-handed hitters, and Margot is a tick above average in terms of power. The Tampa Bay Rays outfielder is slashing .245/.292/.398 this season, which seems like a very realistic expectation for Allen. He’s logged eight stolen bases and eight homers this year. Defensively, Margot primarily plays right field, and the same can be expected for Allen, who likely won’t stick in center field long-term. (Margot has 46 games in right field, 16 games in left, and 10 in center this year.)
Draft Projection: Late Second-Round Pick
There has been some hype surrounding Allen as of late, and various analysts around the league have heard from scouts that are very excited about his potential power. I’m not quite as sold on this realm of his game considering he hit just two homers in high school, nor do I believe he’ll stick in center field long-term. These are both major factors that will impact his draft stock. With that said, there are definitely some teams out there that don’t share these same concerns. As such, he should hear his name called in the second round.