Round Comp A, Pick 32: Jay Allen – OF, John Carroll Catholic (Fla.)
When the Detroit Tigers go to make their second draft choice of the first day, outfielder Jay Allen is the player to select. He’s ranked around this range on draft lists, and due to some personal “bias,” I think he would be a great choice here.
I have been fortunate enough to watch Allen lately with John Carroll in the Florida State Championships and some Perfect Game USA events. Allen is a high-school talent who profiles out as a player who will be fun to watch.
From what I have seen, Allen has the tools to become a centerfielder with blazing speed. Routine groundballs become close plays with Allen’s speed on the bases. In addition to the speed, he has shown the ability to drive the baseball, which will be developed over time.
His timing and swing look to be projectable and something the Tigers should not pass up on. The high school talent is incredibly athletic, and he’s another player who is fun to watch.
In the first round, Allen may be coveted by the Miami Marlins or Tampa Bay Rays, who may have better odds with his signability. However, if the Tigers do choose to select Allen, they will have to work against his commitment to play in college rather than turn professional.
He is currently committed to play his college ball for the Florida Gators. So signability may be an issue, but the Tigers should be able to work out an offer that fits with Allen and gets him to turn to professional baseball. But there is some risk with Allen at pick 32, though I still think this would be a great pick.
After seeing the tools on display in person, the speed is explosive, and his ability at the plate looks to be something that will only get better as he develops, grows, and gets older.