Texas Rangers draft preview: Nick Allen.
The 2017 MLB draft is on June 12, 2017. The Texas Rangers have two first round picks this year — their own selection, and a compensatory pick for losing Ian Desmond -- and both are late in the first round, at #26 and #29.
In advance of the draft, I am going to offer capsule reports on some of the guys who the Rangers could take with their picks.
Today, we are looking at San Diego high school shortstop Nick Allen.
Nick Allen is listed at 5’9”, 160 lbs., though the height may be a bit on the generous side. Allen is a righthanded hitting shortstop attending Parker High School in San Diego, California. Baseball America has Allen listed at #27 on their draft prospect rankings, as does Keith Law.
Allen is considered a true shortstop, someone who should stick at the position, rather than having to move to second or third base, as so many high school shortstops do. BA praises his “high baseball IQ” and his defensive instincts, and he also generates praise from observers for his hit tool and contact ability. Allen is also considered an above-average runner.
So, we have a quality defensive shortstop who can hit and run — why would he still be on the board when Texas picks? Well, as noted above, he’s tiny — BA says he would be one of the smallest players ever picked in the first round, should he be so selected. Smaller players generate concerns about their durability and whether they can handle the grind of a six month season, so there is going to be worry that, even if the tools and skills are there, he’s ultimately going to be limited to a utility role due to an inability to physically handle playing 150 games per season.
Keith Law’s latest mock draft has Allen falling out of the first round, while BA has Allen going to the Cubs at #27 — one spot after the Rangers’ first pick. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo each also have Allen going to the Cubs at #27 in each of their latest mock drafts.
Allen is the type of player you could see the Rangers liking — the combination of undersized and playing with a chip on his shoulder (as BA says he does) brings to mind Rougned Odor, and Texas prioritizes middle of the diamond players. It sounds like, if the Rangers want Allen, they may have to grab him with their first pick, at 26, given the buzz about the Cubs’ interest in him.
Video on Allen is below: