Reds outfield prospect Jay Allen deserved promotion despite lack of power

Daytona Tortugas' Jay Allen (4) returns to play.
Daytona Tortugas' Jay Allen (4) returns to play. / CRYSTAL VANDER WEIT/TCPALM / USA TODAY

Last year's first-round pick Jay Allen is being promoted from Low-A Daytona to High-A Dayton. Despite a lack of power, the Cincinnati Reds are making the right decision by accelerating Allen's ascent through the minor leagues.

Allen was taken with the 30th overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft. Even with all the recent additions to the Reds organization, Allen is still ranked among the Top 10 prospects in team's farm system according to MLB Pipeline.

Allen is slotted just below talented infielder Spencer Steer and a fellow first-round pick from last year's draft, pitcher Chase Petty. Allen is the Reds highest-rated outfield prospect, and with so few outfielder among the elite prospects in Cincinnati's pipeline, it's imperative that Allen find success.

Reds outfield prospect promoted to High-A Dayton.

Jay Allen isn't going to wow anyone with his slash line. The 19-year-old was hitting .224/.359/.332 with three home runs and 21 RBIs along with a wRC+ of 108 according to FanGraphs.

Allen does, however, have 31 stolen bases on the season and a walk-rate of 13.4%. Those two statistics, combined with a .359 on-base percentage could see Allen make it to The Show rather quickly, even if the power numbers never develop.

His above-average speed and plus-arm should see him stick in center field. With Nick Senzel continuing to underwhelm since making the switch from the infield dirt to the outfield grass, Allen could eventually supplant the University of Tennessee alum.

Allen is still years away from making an impact in the major leagues and has several hurdles to overcome in the minors. An OPS of .687 at Low-A is not going to turn many heads. Allen must find a way to tap into his power potential or hit for a higher average. Those are the only ways that eventually make it to the majors.

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