Arizona Diamondbacks Have Options At First Base But Allen Is The Best One

I don't want to bore you with the numbers. If you have paid any attention at all to the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks you already know how bad Juan Miranda has been at the plate. Here's the numbers.

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Miranda has had 174 at-bats compared to 163 for fellow first baseman, Xavier Nady. His batting average (.213) is the lowest of any active National League first basemen with over 90 at-bats. His OPS (.717) is the worst of any regular D-back player and for the Sabremetricians, his RC27 (4.42) is 15th among his NL peers at this "power" position.  

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In other words, Juan Miranda hasn't gotten the job done and it's time for a change.

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The Diamondbacks have a few options available. Xavier Nady can play first and with Gerardo Parra playing well in left field, it's about the only place he's going to see regular time. But Nady isn't the guy who hit over .300 a few years back. He's been decent enough but certainly hasn't grabbed the job by the throat and owned it.

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The better choice is to call up Brandon Allen from Triple-A Reno and give him the same kind of fair shot Miranda got.

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Allen's hitting .306 with a ridiculous OPS of 1.006 at the top level of the minor leagues. At 25, he's proven all he can possible prove in the farm system and deserves a solid look.

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More importantly, the D-backs have to figure out if this guy can play in the majors and the only way to do that is to give him an extended opportunity. Allen hit .267 in just 45 at-bats when he was called up in 2010 and at 23-years-old (2009) was a miserable .202 in 116 plate appearances with the big club.

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Allen's not a top prospect but he's worked hard and maxed out his value as a farm hand.

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Others have argued for Paul Goldschmidt who took his solid spring training numbers right into his third year in the minor leagues. At 23, Goldy is hitting .311, slugging .629 and has an OPS of 1.060 at Double-A Mobile.

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He'll get his chance in Arizona at some point, most likely as a September call-up. But for now, it makes far more sense to move Allen to Arizona and given him a few months of regular playing time and see how Goldschmidt does with a promotion to Reno. No need to rush the process in this case.

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The D-backs seem to agree:

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Arizona Diamondbacks' Brandon Allen returning to the big leagues
Allen is getting the call back to the big leagues today and presumably will get a chance to play first base on a regular basis in the second half of the season

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