Brandon Allen Freed

Brandon Allen has been a bit of a cult figure here at FanGraphs. “>As Jonah Keri wrote back in February:

Brandon Allen is entering what should be the prime years of his career. He’s got power, can take a walk, and offers up to six years of team control. He’s the most logical candidate to start at not one, but two different positions in the Diamondbacks lineup. Paraphrasing Ivan Drago, if he fails, he fails. But he has to get a shot.

The Diamondbacks, of course, didn’t listen and chose to go with Juan Miranda and Xavier Nady at first base, a combination that has managed a whopping 0.1 WAR on the season and an OBP just over .300. Especially given the favorable hitters’ environment at Chase Field, such unimpressive totals out of first base are completely unacceptable. After half a season (at least according to the conventions the the All-Star Break marks the halfway point), the Diamondbacks finally listened to Jonah (and Eno Sarris and Eric Seidman and others) and freed Brandon Allen, calling him up as their first move of the second half.

Allen’s limited MLB career hasn’t been promising. In 172 plate appearances, Allen has only managed to slash .221/.320/.389, hardly better than Miranda and Nady so far this year. His minor league stats have just become too much to ignore. For his third stint in a row with Triple-A Reno, Allen has a wOBA higher than .400. His calling card is power, with an ISO above .250 each year, and he supplements it with tremendous discipline, walking in 16.9% of plate appearances this year and 17.7% last season. Even his bugaboo at the Major League level, a 35% strikeout rate, hasn’t been a problem for him at Triple-A — his minor league strikeout rates are worse than average, but in the 20-23% range instead of in the 30s.

Allen is no guarantee at the Major League level, and he’ll have to get over his strikeout issues to have value. But at this point for Arizona, where their other first base options have proved their lack of worth yet they still sit a mere three games back of the Giants in the NL West, the Diamondbacks have no good reason to keep Allen in Reno. The Diamondbacks might as well let it ride, and Allen makes as good a dice roll as any right now.

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24 Responses to “Brandon Allen Freed”

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  1. Brad Johnson says:

    The Diamondbacks could have unwittingly sank their season by choosing Miranda, Nady, and Branyan over Allen.

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  2. Paul Goldschmidt says:

    PCL…PCL…PCL…that’s all I have to say!. Hopefully Allen will continue to stink at the MLB level so I can get my chance!

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  3. Dan says:

    It can’t be ignored that like half of the Reno lineup has an OPS over 1.000. In that context, his MiLB numbers are solid, but not superb.

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  4. CircleChange11 says:

    PCL Batting stats too much to ignore?

    Brandon Allen is awesome is AAA/PCL. So is Brandon Wood.

    I’m all for Allen getting another shot. But, in MLB he’s a fraction of what he is in the PCL. That should be understood by this point.

    Allen makes as good a dice roll as any right now.

    That’s not due to Allen’s greatness. Any replacement level 1B is as good as a dice roll as what they’ve been getting.

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  5. SP Ver2.0 says:


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  6. tdotsports1 says:

    Anybody check out Chris Davis’ stats in AAA? PCL or not, HUGE.

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  7. DbacksSkins says:

    Now if only we can free Sean Burroughs…from the confines of having a job.

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    • chuckb says:

      I was going to say the same thing. This is the same organization that has benched Ryan Roberts and his .346 wOBA in favor of Sean Burroughs.

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  8. Table says:

    As a Dodger fan looking for a future Loney replacement, I made a list of minor league firstbaseman that could help in 2012.

    Brandon Allen
    Kyle Blanks
    Mat Gamel
    Kila Ka’aihue
    Mike Carp
    Chris Davis
    Yonder Alonso

    I am just wondering what the Fangraph’s crowd thinks of this bunch?

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    • juan pierre's mustache says:

      I think that if ka’aihue is on a list of players that would improve a team’s 1B situation then it’s a pretty serious issue

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  9. SouthPawRyno says:

    Miranda DFA’d?

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  10. west says:

    No doubt he’s better than Miranda/Nady, but I’m not excited.

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  11. Jason says:

    Brandon Allen joins Dan Haren in the “overrated by fangraphs” club, although haren has at least been good in the majors. I don’t expect a whole lot more from Allen than Miranda. If nothing else, now they have no excuse but to call up goldschmidt if Allen fails.

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    • chuckb says:

      Brandon Allen and Dan Haren? Yeah!

      Dan Haren’s overrated! (insert eye roll here!) His numbers just this year are better than many AL pitchers who made the All-Star team and there was nary a mention by anyone in the MSM about him being overlooked. Even those of you who love wins and ERA would love Haren’s 10-5/2.61 mark this year.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      C’mon man. Not even close.

      Brandon Allen and Kila are certainly over-rated by FG … to the point of being obnoxious about it.

      Dan Haren is a really, really good pitcher where the debate is whether he’s “ace” material or just a very good number 1-2.

      Completely different scenarios.

      Brandon Allen’s situation is FG not being able to admit defeat.

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  13. Hank says:

    if Allen succeeds now, what does that mean for Goldschmidt’s future?

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  14. GiantHusker says:

    And yet, the Giants continue to let Brandon Belt languish.

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  15. Josh says:

    I played a little with/against (with on selct teams/against in high school) Brandon in high school and I saw him hit the furthest homer I had ever seen in high school up to that point, but the only part that sucked was I was the one that threw the pitch. It was about as perfect a pitch you could throw and he hit it over like 5 busses in the parking lot. I couldn’t even be pissed.

    The only ball I ever saw go farther in high school was from Paul Goldschmidt (who was on my brother’s team). Kind of weird that they are battling for the 1B spot in Arizona (being they grew up less than 1 hour from each other.

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