When Nick Allen was 15 years old, he committed to the University of Southern California to continue his education and baseball career on Oct. 14, 2013. Now as he’s just months from graduating high school, the talented California prep shortstop will be a freshman at USC beginning in the fall.
“Right when I stepped foot on that campus, it was just a different feeling I had,” said Allen about USC. “I felt like education, which is very important to me, is second to none at USC and also the (baseball) program is starting to win. If college is the right choice for myself, I want to win. I felt very comfortable there.”
Although he’s been committed to the Trojans for over three years, Allen may never step foot on campus. MLB.com ranks Allen as the 26th-best prospect in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft class.
But like other high-profile draft prospects, Allen is leaving the draft pressure for others to worry about.
“I haven’t really thought about it too much yet,” said Allen about the draft. “Hopefully I’ll have a decision to make.”
Allen, who’s 5-foot-8 and 158 pounds, is a defensive wizard at shortstop, possessing exceptional arm strength, great range and blazing speed.
Although Allen doesn’t possess much power offensively, he’s a solid contact hitter who uses his speed to steal bases or take an extra base when possible.
“I feel like I have strengths in all aspects of the game,” Allen said. “Making the routine play is something I always work on, and I attribute to everything I do defensively. Offensively, I think I can do everything, whether that’s placing down a bunt, hitting behind the runner or driving a guy in. I feel like I can do all of that.”
Even with the question marks about his size and ability to hit for power, it hasn’t stopped Allen from being one of the top prep players in the country and one of the top overall position players in the 2017 draft class.
With the option to attend USC available, Allen isn’t worrying about the future. Instead, he’s just enjoying his senior season of high school baseball and focusing on improving his game one-day at a time.
“One big goal is to get better every day in a practice or game,” Allen said. “Just being consistent in everything I do.”
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