Tired of the silver medal, Greg Allen finally brought home the gold yesterday. Allen had come in second in three straight polls before finally winning with 45 percent of the community vote.
A sixth round pick in 2014, Allen is one of the rare MiLB players who has continued to improve every year despite being promoted through the system with regularity. Thus far, he has improved his batting average, on base percentage, walk rate and slugging percentage every season. If he can continue at the current rate, we might be seeing him in Cleveland sooner rather than later.
The San Diego State alumni is also quite the base thief. In just two and a half seasons of professional baseball, he's already stolen 121 bases in 155 attempts, and he was able to swipe an AFL-leading 11 bags this past fall in the instructional league.
With his ability to get on base and then advance into scoring position, Allen scored a ridiculous minor league-leading 119 runs last year.
And all the improved offense has not come at the cost of defense, as he was named the minor league Gold Glove winner for center field, which is only given out to one player per position out of all minor leaguers.
Allen opened some eyes with improved power after being called up to Double-A last season as well as during his stint in the Arizona Fall League. If he can develop more pop in his bat, he could evolve into the rare five-tool player.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 9 PROSPECT FOR 2017?
Yu-Cheng Chang, SS (Age 21)
2016 (A+): 477 PA, 13 HR, 11 SB, .259/.332/.463, 117 wRC+
Had a nice rebound year in 2016 after suffering some injuries in 2015. Was one of the youngest players invited to the Arizona Fall League, where he batted .303.
Erik Gonzalez, IF (Age 25)
2016 (AAA): 460 PA, 11 HR, 12 SB, .296/.329/.450, 122 wRC+
2016 (MLB): 17 PA, 0 HR, 0 SB, .313/.353/.313, 83 wRC+
Blocked at SS by Francisco Lindor and likely to be passed as a utility player by Yandy Diaz. Still a capable major-leaguer who could find a permanent home somewhere in a trade.
Juan Hillman, LHP (Age 19)
2016 (A-): 63 IP, 4.43 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 16.8 K%, 8.6 BB%
2015 second-round pick with boatloads of potential. Had a 25 inning scoreless streak last season before tiring down the stretch.
Nolan Jones, 3B (Age 18)
2016 (R): 134 PA, 0 HR, 3 SB, .257/.388/.339, 118 wRC+
2016 second round pick, Jones walked at almost a 20% clip in 2016, his first season in rookie ball. Has the potential to be a solid all-around player both at the plate and in the field.
Rob Kaminsky, LHP (Age 22)
2016 (AA): 137 IP, 3.28 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 16.1 K%, 8.4 BB%
Acquired from St. Louis for Brandon Moss, Kaminsky quietly had one of the best seasons out of any of the Tribe's full-season starters last year, helping lead Akron to the title.