The career of Indians minor league outfielder Greg Allen has mirrored his time on the base paths: moving forward at high speed.
Allen has advanced to the next level in both of his full-seasons in the minors, and at 23, finished his year with an Eastern League Championship for the Akron RubberDucks after beginning the year in High-A Lynchburg.
But the two-day stretch from July 31 to the latter part of August 1, Allen found himself potentially on the move. However, the only place he went quickly was nowhere.
One of the three prospects slated to head to Milwaukee for now Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, the San Diego State product found himself in limbo, waiting to know if his home in the minor-league Midwest would go further west.
“It’s a whirlwind. The 24 hours surrounding that experience,” Allen said during media availability at the Indians’ Fall Development Program on Sept. 19. “It was something, actually, that I’m kind of thankful for coming out of it. Obviously with all the speculation, you never know where you’re going to be or when you’re going to be there.”
The outfielder said he had family updating him on the developing situation, while he was preparing for a home game at Akron with MLB Network on in the clubhouse.
“When I saw he had vetoed the trade, I obviously didn’t know what was going to happen next, or if there was a counter-offer, things like that,” Allen said before demonstrating a knowledge of what Lucroy would have provided the parent club.
“It was pretty crazy to be a part of.”
Meanwhile, Allen’s play on the field continued to impress, finishing the year with a .295/.416/.830 line, 23 doubles, seven triples and seven round-trippers. He also tallied 45 stolen bases in 129 games.
The on-field success just cemented further what Allen already knew, that he was sought out by the Brewers, not a throw-in from the Cleveland front office.
“The conversation following that trade deadline with (the front office), they definitely reiterated that message, the fact that it wasn’t about getting rid of guys, more so a compliment for the guys involved,” he said. “Especially guys like myself (Yu-)Cheng Chang, Francisco Mejia; guys that have résumés of their own, it just kind of speaks to that. Just being included in that conversation, other teams taking note.”
Now Allen maintains that he is excited to have remained in Cleveland, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 20 ranked prospect in the Indians’ farm system.
Amidst the top of an outfield crop methodically assembled by Tribe brass, the speedy switch-hitter says he has taken note of how Terry Francona has used fellow speedster Rajai Davis to put pressure on opposing defenses.
“The things that our big league team have been able to do has been awesome and fun to watch,” he said. “Having the chance to talk with a few of those guys coming around spring training and seeing how they have been utilized is fun to watch.
“I think even as a fan of the sport, as a spectator, to see guys wreak havoc on the bases and do some special things that way, it’s pretty exciting.”