Tampa Bay Rays Claim Brandon Allen

Allen kisses Oakland good bye

A potential acquisition of Brandon Allen has been frequently discussed in these parts over the past year or so. Now, you can remove the word potential as the Tampa Bay Rays have claimed Allen off waivers from the Oakland Athletics and made room on the 40-man roster for him by moving Robinson Chirinos to the 60 day disabled list.

Allen has spent most of the past two seasons in Triple-A for two different Pacific Coast League affiliates displaying power, patience, and penchant for striking out. His minor league numbers have been more impressive than what he's been able to do at the major league level.

Allen has a career strikeout rate of 36 percent at the major league level as a three true outcome player that mostly strikes out while walking frequently and hitting the occasional bomb into the far reaches of a ballpark including this one at Yankee Stadium.

(stats courtesy of Baseball Reference)

                                                                                     
Year    Age             Tm   Lg Lev   PA 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
2010     24           Reno  PCL AAA  469 18  3 25  86 14  4  83  95 .261 .405 .528  .933
2011     25        2 Teams 1 Lg AAA  419 23  5 21  72  7  4  66 101 .299 .413 .578  .991
2011     25 SacramentoReno  PCL AAA  419 23  5 21  72  7  4  66 101 .299 .413 .578  .991
2011     25           Reno  PCL AAA  377 21  4 18  66  7  4  64  90 .306 .427 .579 1.006
2011     25     Sacramento  PCL AAA   42  2  1  3   6  0  0   2  11 .250 .286 .575  .861
AAA (3 seasons)                 AAA 1116 53  9 59 198 27  8 169 234 .286 .401 .555  .956
                                          
Year   Age  Tm  PA 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
2009    23 ARI 116  7  0  4  14  0 12  40 .202 .284 .385 .669
2010    24 ARI  56  3  0  1   6  0 10  20 .267 .393 .400 .793
2011    25 TOT 195  9  2  6  18  3 18  68 .200 .277 .377 .654
2011    25 ARI  37  0  0  3   7  1  7  13 .172 .351 .483 .834
2011    25 OAK 158  9  2  3  11  2 11  55 .205 .259 .356 .616
2012    26 OAK   7  0  0  0   0  0  0   5 .000 .000 .000 .000
4 Yrs          374 19  2 11  38  3 40 133 .205 .291 .375 .666

Since Allen is out of options, the Rays will have to add him to the 25-man roster sometime in the next day or two. Stephen Vogt would seem the likely candidate given they fact they are both 1B/OF types. If the Rays wish to retain Allen, they will have to keep him up all season or expose him to waivers as Oakland did.

Fixing contact issues is a tough thing to do with spotty playing time at the major league level but Allen gives the Rays more of a power threat off the bench than they've enjoyed so far this season. Since 2009, only Taylor Teagarden has struck out at a higher rate than Allen (min 350 PA) and that is only by 0.7 percentage points. Allen's strikeout rate is two percentage points higher than Mark Reynolds, who has led the major leagues in strikeouts each of the past four seasons.

Tampa Bay becomes the fourth organization Allen has played in joining Chicago, Arizona, and Oakland.

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