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Unsung Prospect: Allen Craig

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Unsung Prospect: Allen Craig

Here is the comment for Allen Craig from the 2008 Baseball Prospect Book.

SLEEPER ALERT. The Cardinals drafted Craig in the eighth round in 2006, out of the University of California. As you can see, he has been very successful as a pro, and it's a bit of a puzzle why he's received so little attention. He has very good bat speed and power to all fields. His plate discipline needs work, and it's possible his batting average will drop off at higher levels, though the power should remain. He was one of the best hitters in the Florida State League last year, posting an excellent +26 percent OPS, ranking third in batting average, third in OPS, third in homers, and third in SLG. Defense is an issue. He has a strong arm, but lacks consistency with his footwork and has spent time at shortstop, outfield, and third base. He might end up at a corner outfield spot eventually if he can't settle down in the infield, but his bat will play there if current trends continue. He turns 24 in July so he needs to move quickly, but if you are looking for an under-the-radar hitter, Craig is a great candidate. Grade B-.

I think that lays it out pretty well. He has the arm for third base and perhaps additional reps will improve his range and reliability, though it seems unlikely he will become more than average defensively in the infield. If he hits well an average glove will be enough. It will be interesting to see what he does against a full season of advanced pitching, but my guess is that he'll continue to hit impressively in Double-A and Triple-A and may not be fully challenged until he sees major league pitchers.

PECOTA comps include guys like Kevin Kouzmanoff, Steve Pearce, and Mark Reynolds, but also Mark Quinn, Cole Liniak, and Russ Davis. We need to get more data from higher levels to see exactly where Craig stands, but he IS an unsung prospect, in the sense of deserving more attention than he has received.