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Elephant Rumblings: Nick Allen turning heads with defensive wizardry

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

And happy birthday to A’s shortstop Nick Allen, who turned 24 on Saturday. He’s also been turning heads around the league with plays like this one:

Daniel Brown at The Athletic profiled Allen and concluded that he “is poised to take control of the job he was born to do.” Allen has dazzled spectators with spectacular web gems, and his defensive stats correlate with the optics: his Ultimate Zone Rating would place him fourth among AL shortstops in 2022 if he’d played a full season at the position, and his UZR/150, which controls for a fielder’s number of chances, would put him first.

Allen’s teammate Shea Langeliers said, “He’s going to be a Gold Glover someday.”

That seems like an eminently plausible prediction, provided that Allen can develop into at least a passable hitter at the major league level. His line for 2022 certainly warrants improvement.

  • Allen, 2022 MLB: .207/.256/.291, 61 wRC+, 326 PA, 4 HR, 3 SB, 5.8% BB, 19.6% Ks

Those aren’t good numbers, but veteran utility man Chad Pinder remarked that Allen demonstrated significant improvement at the plate as the season came to a close.

“I don’t know if you guys watched Nick Allen in the last two weeks — the at-bats he was taking, the swings he was taking — but he took a monster leap this past month with his approach at the plate.”

I’m not sure if AN’s own esteemed Nico was equally impressed with Allen’s late-season offensive progress—which incidentally didn’t translate to much of a stat bump, as the third round pick from 2017 put up just a 70 wRC+ in the seasons’ five final series. Nevertheless, I have a feeling Li’l Nicky will be deemed more “wheat” than “chaff” in the Blogfather’s forthcoming installment. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what Nick Allen can do as the A’s full-time shortstop next season. How about you?

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More playoff disappointment for Chappy.

The M’s staged a most improbable comeback. was one of the biggest postseason comebacks of all time, in fact.

On the other end of the spectrum, this incredible 15 inning pitching duel. 14 scoreless innings in the deciding game of the Guardians-Rays series.

This wouldn’t even happen at the Coli.

The least you could do is pull a coin out of his ear.

Musgrove stayed in to pitch seven scoreless and outduel CBass.