When the year began for Jay Allen he was patrolling the outfield for John Carroll High School in Fort Pierce, Florida. But after a strong senior season the Cincinnati Reds selected him 30th overall in the 1st round of the draft.

Nearly a month after the draft the Reds assigned Jay Allen to the Arizona Complex League Reds out in Goodyear. His first game came on the road against the Angels complex team and Allen sent a ball to heaven, crushing a long solo home run, doing 2-3 with a walk. Easing guys back in after a long lay off between school ending and the draft, the outfielder only played 10 games in August, but hit .296/.457/.444 with just five strikeouts in 35 plate appearances.

After starting out the first week of September by going 0-9 in three games, things turned around on the 9th when Jay Allen went 3-3 with two walks, a home run, three runs, and two RBI against the Angels. He would only play in five games the rest of the way as the season came to an end, but he picked up hits in each one of the games, including a homer on the final day of his season. He’d finish September hitting .367/.444/.667 in 36 plate appearances where he struck out just six times.

For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Jay Allen Scouting Report

Position: Outfield | B/T: R/R

Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 190 lbs | Acquired: 1st Round (2021)

Born: November 22, 2002

Hitting | He’s got an average to slightly above-average hit tool.

Power | There’s above-average raw power in there to tap into in the future.

Speed | He shows slightly above-average speed.

Defense | He’s an average defender who can handle center right now and as long as he doesn’t lose a step should be able to stick there.

Arm | He shows an above-average arm that will work at any of the there outfield spots.

It was only 75 plate appearances, but Jay Allen did all that he could to leave everyone impressed when he stepped to the plate in 2021 as a professional. He hit for average, he made plenty of contact, he hit for power, and he drew plenty of walks. On the bases he was impressive as well, going 14-for-15 in stolen base attempts. For a player who was considered to be a bit raw coming out of the draft, Allen certainly performed like he was anything but.

There’s not a single tool in his arsenal that leaps off of the page at you. But all five of his tools could be average or better at the big league level in the future. A strong athlete who was a three sport star in high school could continue to improve quickly with more of a sole focus on baseball now that it’s his career. There are some questions about where he eventually winds up on the defensive spectrum. His speed doesn’t stand out, so if he loses any of it moving forward it may mean sliding over to right field. Defensively that won’t be an issue, but having his bat in center would certainly make it more valuable.

Jay Allen Spray Chart

Jay Allen Spray Chart

Interesting Stat on Jay Allen

Small sample size galore here, but his home/road splits were wild. At home he hit .130/.259/.174 in 7 games. On the road he hit .471/.568/.824 in 11 games (and he stole 12 bases).

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14 Responses

  1. Alan Horn

    He may be the most interesting prospect we signed for me. He probably has more potential than any we signed this past draft. I really like all 4 of the top 4 picks. Scouting and drafting is one area the Reds don’t seem to be lacking. The problem is at the very top of the organization.

    • Doc

      Scouts make recommendations. The top of the organization is where the decisions are made.

      • Doug Gray

        Not really with the draft, though. The scouting director is the one making the call on the draft picks.

      • Alan Horn

        I worked in IT for over 35 years. I worked with one company whose (upper management)wouldn’t listen to their IT people. They wound up paying 22 million(in 1992) for some software they were never able to use or get to work or use. All of this against the advise of their IT people. I left that company and they later wound up going bankrupt after many years of success under different ownership and management.
        I say this to relate to Red’s upper management listening to their scouting dept. If they don’t listen, I doubt they would survive very long.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    Jay Allen would be moving to top 1-2 Reds prospect nearly…

  3. MK

    Definitely not the normal top prospect who are encouraged early on to concentrate on one sport. As a high school baseball coach I had to fight each year to keep the football and basketball coaches who wanted ther kids year round. Looks like Allen bucked the system to be a multi sort athlete.

    • Alan Horn

      That has been going on down here in Alabama since the 1960’s. I was an All Conference basketball player and the football coach made us pump iron during the season. Try shooting a basketball with bulked up arms. I wound up playing baseball in college and the football coach/Athletic Director wouldn’t wouldn’t even field a baseball team my last 2 years in high school. My only salvation was I was playing against grown men in a men’s summer league at age 12.

  4. AllTheHype

    I can’t figure out why fangraphs doesn’t like Allen. Rated 40+ behind Siani – who never had the tools Allen has and had a miserable ’21 to boot. Also rated behind Hendrick, who sports a ridiculous K rate and very suspect hit tool in general. Makes no sense…..guess they are just discounting entirely Allen’s preview in ACL, and his scouting report.

    • Tom

      It looks like it needs updating to fully account for 2021. I’m not sure, though.

    • Doug Gray

      Fangraphs hasn’t really updated their rankings/grades for most guys. Short of the Reds prospects that are considered Top 100 guys, they aren’t current reports.

      • AllTheHype

        Honestly, if fangraphs hasn’t updated rankings since the rule 4 draft and not considered any performances in ’21 in their rankings (at this late date after the season), I’m not sure why they even bother to rank beyond their overall top xxx rankings.

  5. Old Big Ed

    I am surprised that you have him at only “slightly above-average speed.” I know that doesn’t mean “slightly above average” for the whole population, John Sadak included, but does that mean slightly above-average for hitters in general (Votto, Moustakas and Yadi Molina included), or for 19-21 year-old minor league outfielders?

    In other words, “average” compared to what? He was 14-15 in stolen bases, so that connotes some measure of speed and quickness.

    There is a difference between the top sprint speed between bases and actual effective baseball speed. Nick Senzel logs fast top speeds, but is a mundane baserunner and outright lousy at stealing bases. Baseball rewards explosiveness and quick acceleration more so than top sprint speed, because the player on every occasion has to pretty much start from 0 mph, and then round a base or make a play within 30 yards. I’d think that Allen’s 3-sport success in high school would suggest a fairly high effective speed in baseball. Eric Davis had both and was a legitimate freak of nature, but I think he was also a high-school basketball player.