Happy Nick Allen Day!
One of the Oakland A’s top prospects is set to make his MLB debut Tuesday night at the Coliseum, as Allen is in the lineup playing second base.
The A’s drafted Allen out of high school in 2017, and he spent the next few years establishing himself as one of the best defensive talents in the minors. Last summer he worked his way up to Triple-A, and also won an Olympic silver medal for Team USA, making Athletics Nation all the more excited to see him reach the majors sometime this season. Better yet, he was off to a nice start with the bat in Las Vegas through a dozen games this month.
- Allen, 2022 AAA: .319/.396/.404, 115 wRC+, 1 HR, 3 SB, 6 BB, 7 Ks
It didn’t even take two weeks for opportunity to come knocking. Oakland had several hitters go on the COVID injured list this week and Allen was called up as an emergency substitute, and then Monday evening infielder Kevin Smith hurt his leg, further depleting the lineup’s depth.
The 23-year-old Allen is normally a shortstop, and presumably that’ll be his long-term home for his career, but today the opening is at second base. Veteran Elvis Andrus stays at his normal everyday shortstop position, and Sheldon Neuse takes over at third base where Smith has usually played so far this season, leaving a vacancy at the keystone. Allen slides into that spot and bats ninth in the order.
More from Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle:
Mark Kotsay texted Nick Allen to tell Allen he’d be in the lineup tonight. “I woke up to it, so that was one of the first things I saw,” Allen said. “It got me really pumped.”
We’re pumped too! Regardless of the outcome tonight, whether he makes some big plays or takes an 0-fer and just gains experience points, it’s always fun to see an impact prospect make that first appearance after following their progress for so long. Hopefully today is the first step in a long journey here in Oakland.
Welcome to the Show, Nick!