(Photo: Jeff Nycz, Scout.com)
2020 season age: 23 – Throws: Left – Bats: Right – Contract: Rookie status
2019 in review: Allen was traded to the Indians just before the trading deadline in 2019 along with fellow San Diego Padre OF Franmil Reyes and OF Yasiel Puig along with LHP Scott Moss from the Reds for Trevor Bauer. He made eight appearances (four starts) with the Padres in his MLB debut before getting traded, pitching 25.1 innings with 14 strikeouts, 13 walks, and a 6.75 ERA. He made one appearance with the Indians in relief, throwing 2.1 innings with three strikeouts and just three hits. He had 81 strikeouts in 80 innings and 34 walks with a 5.85 ERA between Columbus and El Paso.
Beyond the stats: There’s not a ton of StatCast data on Allen because of his limited experience but his fastball sits in the average range of velocity (92.6) with extremely below average spin (5th percentile). He does have better spin on his curveball (60th percentile), though that isn’t indicative of effectiveness. He also has a spin rate over 2400 on his slider, which is a little more indicative of effectiveness in a breaking ball. His command had improved until last year when his command ballooned back into the 11% range. One interesting note is that for most of his minor league career, Allen has done a good job keeping the ball on the ground. Until he hit Triple-A he had a higher ground ball rate than fly ball rate or was within 3% of it. In 2019 it started to trend the other way in 2018 but it was also near 50% in his two stints in the majors between Cleveland and San Diego.
On the mound: Allen throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. His changeup is projected to be his best pitch with the three other pitches expected to both be at least average. He also has a delivery that seems to throw off hitters timing, which is just as big as any good pitch. At 6’3, 200lb, Allen also has the build of a durable starter.
2020 role: With one of Zach Plesac or Aaron Civale likely to earn one of the rotation spots and Adam Plutko out of options, it would seem that Allen is either the sixth or seventh starter ahead of or behind Jefry Rodriguez. The Indians could still work with him on his command and possibly some improvements to his fastball effectiveness, so he’ll get the call if one or two starters goes down.
Fantasy impact: Allen isn’t going to have a major league job going into 2020, but in deeper leagues he might be worthy of a stash if you’re looking for an above average starter with the potential to eat innings sometime in 2020 or 2021. He’ll probably rack up modest K’s and give you effective innings with a moderate WHIP. In shallower leagues he’s not really worth rostering unless he gets regular innings in 2020 and could even be used as a streamer when he gets spot starts.