The Cincinnati Reds have selected outfielder Jay Allen of John Carroll Catholic High School (Florida) with the 30th overall in the 1st round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.

Jay Allen Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 190

Bats: Right | Throws: Right | Position: Outfielder

Highest Ranking: 25th (ESPN)

A three sport star at John Carroll Catholic High School, Jay Allen stands out in this draft class for his athleticism. A potential 5-tool player, he doesn’t have any single explosive tool that grades out as plus, but there’s a chance that all of his tools are average to above-average at the end of the day.

At the plate he can and does already use the entire field and can drive the ball from foul pole to foul pole. He has average to above-average power potential, especially if he fills out his frame a bit over the next few years. He’s got above-average speed and he is faster underway.

Defensively he has enough speed to play and remain in center. His arm is above-average and could play in right field if he does lose any speed down the line and needs to move out of the middle of the field.

Jay Allen Video

Instant Reaction

My favorite pick of the day for the Reds. While there is plenty of risk/reward here, the reward seems quite high for Jay Allen. A player that oozes athleticism, but hasn’t strictly focused on baseball but has still been very good at baseball gets one excited. Allen could be a centerfielder with power and a solid average down the line who can also do a little bit of damage running the bases. In the first round I prefer to see upside as long the there’s no reason to believe someone would be a complete flop. Allen has plenty of upside and there’s not much reason to think he is any more of a risk than most other high school players selected at the back end of the first round.

Scouting Director Brad Meador on Jay Allen

“I sat down with Jay, we had a workout a few weeks ago, and he came and we sat in the dugout – I don’t know, 30-45 minutes and had a good long conversation about just that. And that’s what our scouts spend a lot of time, digging in on the makeup and getting to know the kids – and like I said it’s the most important part, especially with a high school player. I just felt like after talking with him, he had all the right answers. We had a good discussion and he convinced me this was the right path for him.”

How do you grade him athletically?

“He is (an insane athlete). 3-sport high school athlete. And that’s what’s so exciting about him, he’s just scratching the surface in baseball. He hasn’t ever just focused on baseball and you saw him improve over the summer and even through the spring. He’s only going to get better from here. It’s really exciting upside.”

Do you like that kind of background with the different skillsets?

“Absolutely. We’ve talked about it before, we love the three sport guys, the two sport players. There’s just so much that goes into playing other sports, competing in different ways. It’s not necessarily the case for him because he’s such a good athlete, but not always being the best player on the field or on the court – our scouts spend a lot of time watching basketball games and football games and seeing these guys compete in other sports, especially the high school kids, to see what kind of teammates they are when everyone’s not there to watch them sometimes. You reduce the risk of the overuse injuries of just playing the same sport 12 months a year. So there’s a lot of advantages. I think everyone agrees with playing multiple sports.”

Click here to see the other scouting reports from the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft from the Cincinnati Reds.

22 Responses

  1. Brad

    Allen screams RH hitting, better arm Taylor Trammell. And that is not a bad thing at all.

    • Gaffer

      I thought the same thing, he is RH Trammel but can stay in CF. The problem is no P in the top 3 picks, ugh.

    • Alan Horn

      My favorite pick of the day also. He looks like a player. Of course, time will tell..

  2. Mister Red

    I feel like these last two picks were rescues and aren’t going to help in the next 3 years. I would have taken Ty Madden instead of knock off Taylor Tramell

    • Gaffer

      I agree with Madden at 30 but NO baseball draft pick ever can be assumed to play in under 3 years. It’s just so hard to find difference making pitchers after the first 50 picks that I think you have to take one out of the top 3 picks they had, but nope.

      • MK

        I wanted Madden here with this pick as well. Be interesting to know why he dropped so far.

    • Stock

      my hope was actually that the Reds would take no pitchers tonight.

      1. Farm is loaded with pitching: Gutierrez, Santillan, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Bonnin, Davis, Roa, Procter, Parker, Spiers and Kravetz. A nice collection of 12 prospects.
      2. Offensively they are not near as deep with the graduations of Stephenson and India.
      3. Some of the pitchers in1were taken fairly late and benefit from Reds Coaching. Who is to say we can’t take a pitcher in round 2 or 3 and not get 1st round value with some tinkering.

  3. RobL

    Continues the trend of aggressively average tools. At least he has projection in his frame. Although as the frame fills out, the speed tends to dip and he is a borderline CFer now. Just like McClain is a border line SS. While the Reds seem to have abandoned their quest for loud tools, their disdain for fielding marches on!

  4. kevinz

    Usually struggle with these type.
    Mayb change with devlp team have now.
    For sure has a MLB body.
    Lottery ticket type to me.

  5. AllTheHype

    Defer to Reds on this pick. They must have liked what they saw. HS kids are a crap shoot, tough for arm chair GMs to be very analytical. Hope they got this one right, but glad they went with upside on at least one of the picks. We’ll see.

  6. Shawn

    Kid looks like a player. I wonder if it will take over slot money to sign him. Always that risk with HS players.

  7. Tom

    You like to see a 50 hit tool. That could carry him to the top of the lineup. I kind of go the other way on multisport players, I’m glass half empty until proven otherwise – only in regards to the fact that they actually have a lot of catching up to do. It seems like the interview went really well so we can be convinced Allen is ready to focus on baseball. So that’s not a concern. Based on work ethic and reputation Trammell was higher rated, but it seems like Allen has even better tools to be a starter and seems like a great kid. Put him in the Callihan, Hinds, Siani bucket.

  8. SultanofSwaff

    Toolsy for sure, but the in-game swings/takes leave a lot to be desired. I have a feeling he’ll take a long time for things to click. I’d leave him in low A until he dominates for an extended period.

  9. RojoB

    Don’t some of “them” say that with a como pick you can take a bigger gamble? Sort of like diversifying the investment portfolio?

    I guess there weren’t any sure shots left? I really don’t know I couldn’t get interested in draft research this year

  10. Old Big Ed

    I’ll take the 3-sport athletes all day and night, over the travel-ball zombies. He was the starting QB in football, with D1 offers, and averaged 15.5 in basketball. Air Force was among the schools recruiting him in football, so he also has a good head on his shoulders.

    Allen’s an elite athlete. Give him time to focus on baseball and some good professional instruction, and he will end up being the steal of the draft.

    • Alan Horn

      I am hoping and thinking the same thing. McClain’s raw talent doesn’t jump out at me like this guy but who knows for sure at this stage.

  11. Monerika

    My kid goes to his High School so I saw him up close and for what it’s worth he is an incredible athlete.