All-Star Josh Allen Re-Signs with Saints
In two seasons with the St. Paul Saints, second baseman Josh Allen had his contract purchased by the New York Mets organization and helped lead the club to their first championship in 15 seasons. It was an easy decision to bring back the four-time All-Star for the 2020 season as the Saints re-signed the second baseman Allen.
The 28-year-old Allen had another incredible season in 2019 hitting .272 with 17 home runs and 58 RBI in 93 games. In 342 at bats he scored 58 runs, walloped 20 doubles, three triples, stole seven bags, with a .355 on base percentage, .497 slugging percentage, for an .853 OPS. In addition, Allen finished tied for third among all qualified second baseman in fielding percentage at .985. His incredible season earned him a spot as the starting second baseman in the All-Star Game played at CHS Field where he went 1-2 with a run scored. He finished tied for eighth in the league in home runs and led all second baseman in long balls. In the regular season Allen homered twice in a game on two occasions and homered in back-to-back games twice. From June 14-20 he scored a run in a career tying high seven games. His most memorable moment in the regular season was his walk-off grand slam on July 16 vs. Kansas City.
Allen was even better in the playoffs going 9-31 with two home runs and four RBI. In the eight playoff games he scored eight runs. He homered in back-to-back games in the North Division Championship Series in Game 2 at Fargo-Moorhead and then again in Game 3, a seventh inning solo blast that tied the game at four. In Game 1 of the American Association Finals, Allen went 5-5, his first ever five hit game, while scoring three runs.
Allen began the 2018 season with the Saints and had a blistering start to the year. He was hitting .344 with four home runs and 11 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. After being inserted into the leadoff spot he 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 also played a nearly flawless second base committing just one error and leading all second baseman, at the time, with a .992 fielding percentage. He finished his 24 games in the league first in total chances (126), put outs (55), and assists (70) among second baseman. On the offensive side, Allen was leading the league in being hit by a pitch (8) and was eighth in batting average.
Those eye-popping numbers caught the attention of the Mets who purchased Allen’s contract, on June 14, and placed him at Double-A Binghamton. He hit .248 with two home runs and 20 RBI in 42 games with the Mets. In 153 at bats he scored 15 runs, smoked 12 doubles, had a .320 on base percentage, and a .366 slugging percentage. Allen hit safely in his first six games with the Mets, which gave him a 20-game hitting streak between the Saints and Mets. In his final game with the Mets, before a knee injury ended his season, he went 3-3, his first three-hit game at Double-A. Allen had a .980 fielding percentage in 38 games at second base.
Prior to joining the Saints, Allen spent his first four seasons with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League and in 2017 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, stole 12 bases, 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, at the time, 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, ripped 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.
This is the third off-season signing for the Saints.
RHP Tanner Kiest
RHP Matt Quintana
INF Josh Allen
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints