When the A’s designated Brandon Allen for assignment last week I wrote that based on his minor-league track record plenty of teams would be smart to snag him off waivers.
Sure enough a contending team did just that according to Allen’s agent, who says the first baseman/corner outfielder was claimed by Tampa Bay.
Allen is a flawed player, striking out too much and offering little defensive value, and he’s yet to experience any success in the majors. However, he’s also still just 26 years old and has hit .286 with 59 homers and a .956 OPS in 253 games at Triple-A.
Tampa Bay and manager Joe Maddon are great at mixing and matching spare parts to magnify their usefulness, so it’s a good landing spot for Allen assuming the Rays can find some room for his left-handed bat in the lineup.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.