Since the beginning of June, a number of intriguing young players have switched organizations in trades for big leaguers. That list includes Gorkys Hernandez, Jeff Locke, Lastings Milledge and Chris Perez. You can read all about them at Trade Central.
But as July dawns and teams continue to complete trades at a furious pace, we want to keep readers and other information seekers advised of those prospects who are switching organizations. Because full Trade Central reviews often take a back seat to other responsibilities here at BA, we present here a thumbnail review of the prospect involved in Tuesday’s White Sox-Diamondbacks deal.
The White Sox traded 23-year-old Triple-A first baseman Brandon Allen to the Diamondbacks for 27-year-old righthanded reliever Tony Pena, who had gone 5-3, 4.24 in 37 games for Arizona, racking up 26 strikeouts and 11 walks in 34 innings. Pena has serverd as an important piece of the Diamondbacks’ bullpen since his callup in July 2006.
But it’s Allen who catches our eye here. Chicago’s fifth-round pick in 2004 from Montgomery (Texas) High, he broke through last season with a Carolina League-leading .527 slugging percentage. The physical (6-foot-2, 235 pounds) lefthanded batter crushed 29 home runs in all between Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, in two home parks not exactly renowned for nurturing home run hitters.
This season, Allen was batting .282/.348/.436 with eight home runs in 76 games, most of them back with Birmingham. He earned a promotion to Charlotte a couple weeks ago, though he had batted just .246 with a lone homer and no walks in 15 games.
Follow the link above to view Allen’s pre-season scouting report from our White Sox Top 10.The money quote, courtesy of Phil Rogers::
With Jim Thome in the final year of his contract and Paul Konerko signed only through 2010, Allen is emerging at an opportune pace. The last hitter to show this much power at Birmingham was Chris Young, who hit 32 homers for the Diamondbacks two years later.
Scour the Trade Central archives and you’ll see that the White Sox actually have dealt two other young position players to the Diamondbacks (in addition to Young, who netted them Javier Vasquez) in recent years.
It all began, innocently enough, two years ago when the Good Guys swapped outfielder Aaron Cunningham for Danny Richar, who later turned into Ken Griffey Jr. It continued in December 2007 when they exchanged first baseman Chris Carter for Carlos Quentin, a trade that single-handedly swings the overall balance in Chicago’s favor, no matter how good Allen proves to be.
Interestingly enough, Arizona sent both Cunningham and Carter to Oakland as chips in their trade for Dan Haren.
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