Player: Greg Allen
Drafted by: Cleveland Indians
DOB: 3/15/1993 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'4", 170 pounds
School: San Diego State
Previously Drafted: Never
Greg Allen is an interesting prospect in the 2014 draft. As a 21-year-old who plays at one of the better baseball schools in the country, he has gotten better in each of his three college seasons and was a preseason second-team All-American, according to Baseball America.
Allen draws mixed reviews for how his skills project to professional baseball. He's done a terrific job of maximizing the skills he does have, hitting .307/.397/.386 in 2014 and playing a good center field.
Believing in the hit tool is going to determine where he gets drafted, though teams are always on the lookout for anyone who can handle center field, so the wait shouldn't be too long.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
A switch-hitter, Allen has a better swing from the left side; he is more direct to the ball with a cleaner follow-through, starting wide with a small load but keeping his hands in a locked position to pull the trigger; swing from the right side looks similar, but the hands move back slightly more and his hips fly open; above-average bat speed and a feel for hitting allow him to get on base at a solid rate.
His swing is built for contact, not power; slight frame doesn't allow him to drive the ball over the fence when he finds the barrel; very little loft/elevation in his swing, making it difficult to generate backspin and get line drives over the fence; power is going to be into the gaps with a few homers along the way.
Plate Discipline: 40/50
What Allen lacks in power, he more than makes up for with a natural feel for hitting; keen eye at the plate, showing the ability to track off-speed stuff very well and shortening his stroke with two strikes just to fight off pitches; ability to work counts gives him a chance to be an average hitter in MLB.
Allen is an excellent runner, both in the field and on the bases; shows plus times out of the box, has tremendous instincts on the bases and is aggressive in taking an extra base or stealing a bag; range in the outfield is solid, though some poor routes take it down a peg; should have no problem stealing 20-30 stolen bases.
There's no reason he can't play center field at a high level; has speed to cover a lot of ground and the arm to handle the position; must improve his routes and jumps to be an above-average defender, but the raw ability is there.
Allen would be a tremendous left fielder because of his athleticism and arm strength, if the limitations in center prove to be a problem; ability to get the ball out of the glove and back to the infield quickly is an asset, though the arm doesn't play better than average; is accurate and rarely makes a bad decision with the ball.
MLB Player Comparison: Ben Revere
In terms of raw power, Ben Revere makes Greg Allen look like Hank Aaron. But when the two are put side by side, their abilities grade out similarly. The latter will have more value on offense because of his ability to work the count and draw walks.
Projection: Average regular on first-division roster
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 75 percent
There is a wide variety of opinions regarding where Allen will be drafted. Given his ability to play center field and hit leadoff, teams aren't going to let him get away without making a strong offer. He's not going to magically transform into a star prospect in the next year, so it's in his best interest to sign regardless of where he gets taken.