Meet the Mets: Saints Second Baseman Josh Allen Has Contract Purchased by Mets
ST. PAUL, MN - Josh Allen moved into the leadoff spot in the order on May 30. He was hitting just .188 that day. Since then he has put the entire league on notice that he might be one of the best players in the American Association. The New York Mets also took notice and purchased his contract on Thursday and they will send Allen to Double-A Binghamton.
The 27-year-old Allen was hitting .344 with two home runs and four RBI in 24 games. In 90 at bats he scored 17 runs, ripped six doubles, two triples, had a .439 on base percentage, and a .589 slugging percentage. Since being inserted into the leadoff spot he has hit safely in a career high 14 consecutive games, including an extra base hit in seven straight from May 30-June 8. He tied a career high with two home runs on June 12 against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. He's also played a nearly flawless second base committing just one error and leading all second baseman with a .992 fielding percentage. He is also first in total chances (126), put outs (55), and assists (70). On the offensive side Allen is leading the league in being hit by a pitch (8) and eighth in batting average.
"Talk about a kid that deserved the opportunity," said Saints Manager George Tsamis. "Josh was excellent for us. Congratulations to him. He has never played in a MLB Organization before and he is going straight to Double-A. What a great day for Josh. We are so happy for him."
"It was a tremendous opportunity to play in St. Paul," said Allen. "You don't get a chance to play in a much nicer place. George, Ole and Ligty, they were such a great influence on me. At least I could say I was here for George's 1000th win, which was special. I'm thrilled for the opportunity. I'm looking forward to extending my career and continue my journey."
Prior to joining the Saints Allen spent his first four seasons with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League and last season he hit .310 with a career high 15 home runs and 47 RBI in 94 games. In 345 at bats he scored a career high 83 runs, smacked 12 doubles, six triples, walked 66 times, 12 stolen bases, and had a .429 on base percentage and .510 slugging percentage for a .939 OPS. Allen was selected to the mid-season All-Star game, his third in four professional seasons, and as a Post-Season All-Star at second base. He finished tied for first in the Frontier League in runs, third in on base percentage, tied for fourth in triples and fifth in walks. The Otters made the playoffs, the third time in Allen's time with the team, but lost three-games-to-one in the first round to the Schaumburg Boomers.
Allen's season was highlighted by a two-home run and five RBI game on May 20 vs. Gateway. He had 10, three-hit games and a four-hit game on June 17 at Washington. Allen homered in back-to-back games three times, which included homering in four straight games from July 21-23. He had two home runs in the second game of a doubleheader on July 22 vs. Washington.
In 2016 Allen had a career year and was named the Frontier League MVP. He hit a franchise record .354 with nine homers and 46 RBI in 94 games. In 347 at bats he scored 75 runs, rippled a single-season franchise record 34 doubles, nine triples, stole a career high 29 bases, with 59 walks, a .458 on-base percentage, .582 slugging percentage, for an eye-popping 1.041 OPS. He helped guide the Otters to the Frontier League Championship. He was in the top five in nearly every major offensive category. He was first in total bases (202), doubles, extra-base hits (54), and slugging percentage, second in average, runs, hits (123), and on-base percentage, tied for second in triples, fourth in stolen bases, and fifth in walks.
Allen's 2016 season was highlighted with 14, three-hit games and three, four-hit games. He doubled in back-to-back games six times, which also included doubling in three straight from September 2-4 and four straight from August 20-24. During that latter streak he collected three doubles on August 23 vs. Normal. Perhaps the most impressive number were his four stolen bases on June 23 at Florence.
In 2014 Allen was signed by the Otters out of a tryout camp and in his rookie season he hit .290 with five homers and 30 RBI in 67 games. He was selected to the All-Star Game and finished third in the league in stolen base percentage (.917). The Otters made the playoffs, but lost in a one game playoff to the Washington Wild Things.
Allen's second season saw him hit .259 with nine home runs and 48 RBI in 92 games.
For his career Allen finished as the Otters all-time leader in triples (19), stolen bases (76), and hit by pitches (51), second in games played (347), at bats (1,222), hits (374), doubles (70), RBI (171), runs (261), and total bases (596), and third in home runs (38) and walks (191). Allen played all 347 games in his career at second base and has a .975 career fielding percentage.
Allen graduated from the University of West Florida, where he spent one season, his senior year, and hit .337 with two home runs and 19 RBI.
Allen is the 129th contract purchased from the Saints, and 119th different player, including eight who had their contract sold twice and Caleb Thielbar who became the first player to have his contract purchased three times. Of the 129 contracts sold eight were sold to international teams and a total of 19 have made it to the ultimate level of baseball following their time with the Saints (Julio DePaula, who played for the Saints in 2011, made it to the Major Leagues in 2014, never pitched in a game, but does not show up on the list below because his contract wasn't purchased directly from the Saints).
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