Allen earns AFL Player of the Week honors

Speedy outfielder has collected 28 total bases in 11 games

Allen earns AFL Player of the Week honors

MESA, Ariz. -- Speedy Mesa Solar Sox outfielder Greg Allen of the Cleveland Indians earned Arizona Fall League Player of the Week honors after an impressive showing at the plate that contributed to his team's winning streak.

"It definitely means a lot," Allen said. "It's fun to be recognized in that way, but it's definitely something that our team as a whole has done a great job of on the field."

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The No. 19 prospect in the Indians' organization hit a pair of home runs against the Peoria Javelinas on Friday, the first multihomer game of his professional career, that powered the Solar Sox to a 7-3 victory. 

That game is only a piece of a larger picture of Allen's impressive Fall League campaign. He's slashed .435/.683/.366 and leads batters in home runs with three. He also went into Monday's games tied with Mariners' No. 2 prospect Tyler O'Neill in total bases (28).

"I think it's still just a work in progress, for sure," Allen said. "I'm just trying to take it day by day and do the best I can to take advantage of the opportunities that are given.That's how I've been going about it."

Cleveland used its sixth-round Draft pick in 2014 to select the San Diego native out of San Diego State, where he was coached by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who passed away that same year.

Allen's work on the basepaths and his hitting skills at the top of the order have helped him climb the ladder in the Minors. In his split time with the Class A Advanced Lynchburg Hillcats and Double-A Akron RubberDucks, he batted .295/.416/.413 with 45 stolen bases and 44 RBIs in 129 games.

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Allen got the call to move up to Akron in July. His presence was felt at the plate as he doubled and collected two singles in the final game against the Trenton Thunder to help the RubberDucks capture their fifth Eastern League Championship in September.

Allen's defensive skills in center field didn't go unnoticed, either. He recorded a fielding percentage of .994, and added a career-high 15 outfield assists with just two errors in 332 chances. That performance landed him the Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award in center field.

"We usually have both short-term goals and long-term goals, but I think more than anything I'm just trying to find ways to be consistent, whether that's in the batter's box or defensively or on the basepaths -- just trying to find a way to bring consistency to my game," Allen said.

The biggest takeaways from the AFL, he said, don't necessarily involve the numbers on a stat sheet. The best moments come from rubbing elbows with Major League Baseball's top prospects.

"We spend a lot of time with each other, whether it's on the field or in the lunchroom or in between games," Allen said. "It's a lot of time to talk, a lot of conversations that are had both with coaches and with players.You get a feel of the things you know that they've learned or things that have helped them. I think it's a breeding ground for a lot of ideas and brainstorming."

In return, Allen can share his stories with his fellow Fall League teammates.

"I just try to be a winner," he said. "Someone who likes to go out there, loves to compete, loves to have fun, loves to just have a good time and loves to be around his teammates; but more than anything loves to win, and loves to be a part of a winning team, a winning atmosphere and a winning environment."

Nicole Vasquez is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.