2011 A's Retrospective #23: Brandon Allen
Brandon Allen is a still-relatively-young first baseman who was acquired by the A's as the main piece of the Brad Ziegler deal at the July 31st deadline. He had been in the majors with Arizona prior to the trade, but Oakland sent him to Sacramento initially. They called him up in place of Adam Rosales about two weeks later and installed him at first base for the rest of the season.
He started well. To go all arbitrary endpoints on you, he hit .290/.333/.551 in his first 18 games, including a memorable two-homer game in Yankee Stadium, but went just .131/.193/.182 over the final month. His time in Oakland still came to just 158 trips to the plate (41 games), but the man has shown consistency in his couple of short stints in the bigs: solid pop, terrible contact issues. If you don't like Chris Carter, you should hide your eyes before this next stat: 128 strikeouts in 367 major-league plate appearances. That's over one third. His minor-league strikeout rates are in that danger zone, too: 23% of his career PAs in the minors have ended with him trudging back to the dugout from the plate.
I looked at Allen's Baseball America writeups and minor-league career when the A's acquired him, and obviously that information hasn't changed. If we take all of that and add it to his .205/.259/.356 line in 25% of a season, what do we get? I'm not sure, but I'm pretty confident it's not a star. Bob Melvin believes in Allen, but I'd rather put my money on Daric Barton at first base, bum shoulder and all. Billy Beane might even agree, as the word earlier in the off-season was that Allen was available. With Oakland apparently liking Kila Ka'aihue's bat, examining hitters like Manny Ramirez on the trade market, and having Barton already in place, it's certainly possible that Allen could wind up in Milwaukee or Pittsburgh or New York or who knows here before the end of spring training.
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