“Who’s on first?”
Those words have become more than just an Abbott & Costello skit for New York Mets fans this winter. Those words have been somewhat of a rallying cry.
Those are some of the arguments we have heard from fans and analysts alike. The Mets have made it no secret that they intend to move Davis before Spring Training. The problem is, it seems like nobody wants him. Well, they don’t want him for what the Mets want back in exchange, anyway.
On November 19, 2013, the Mets went and did something to complicate things a little bit at first base—they quietly signed journey first baseman, Brandon Allen, to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
One would have to question this signing, as there seems to be no shortage of first baseman in the Mets organization, especially at the major league level. At the minor league level, there is Allan Dykstra, Jayce Boyd and Dominic Smith all emerging.
Allen may have been brought in simply to replace the loss of Davis in the organization, which has yet to occur. Allen, like Davis, is a left-handed hitter, and brings what I would call “ass-tons” of power on his resume.
Allen is only the second player to ever hit a ball into the upper deck of the new Yankee Stadium.
He can crush baseballs when he hits them, but that’s where the issues arise that have made him a career minor leaguer—in 344 major league at-bats, he has hit a paltry .203 with only 12 homers.
When Allen puts the barrel on the ball, good things happen. The problem is, it doesn’t happen as often as teams would like. This has caused him to bounce around from team to team, all likely taking shots on him due to his power potential.
It just hasn’t come together for the left-handed slugger yet.
It seems unlikely that Allen will flourish into an everyday major league first baseman, but at 27 years-old, wouldn’t it be something if this guy finally puts it all together in a Mets uniform. Late bloomers tend to bloom in their later twenties, and we know this organization loves heavy-hitting first baseman, and as I mentioned earlier, power is one thing Allen has a ton of.
When looking at the off-season moves by the Mets, the fans are looking for the next Marlon Byrd—a guy brought in on the cheap that performs way above expectations. Many hope that player is Chris Young, but he wasn’t exactly cheap.
Allen may not even be with the Mets at the end of spring training, but I like to believe that he was drafted in the fifth round for a reason, and the Mets saw something in Allen that would prompt them to sign him and extend an invitation to spring training. Maybe they’re hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with Allen.
Allen spent the entire 2013 in Triple-A for the Padres organization compiling a .267 average and 17 homers. His last major league appearance came in 2012, for the Rays, and he hit one homerun in 20 major league at bats that year—that one homerun is shown below.