JOHNSON CITY — Young baseball players aren’t the only ones starting their careers in the minors.
“I’m in rookie ball too, you know. All over again.”
Former major leaguer, Brandon Allen, is beginning his coaching career in Johnson City. Injuries ended his playing days after 13 years of pro ball, but he wasn’t ready to leave the game just yet.
“Always wanted to come back, even when I got out of baseball, no matter what age,” said Allen. “I’m still on the diamond so I can’t beat that.”
Allen spent his pro career with the Diamondbacks, Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays, along with various minor league teams. That experience and knowledge is crucial for young players hoping to someday reach that level.
“I’m just feeling them out, seeing what they have and what they can and can’t do,” Allen said. “Want to get them better, but, right now, you’re going to see what they got. They’re fresh, they’re young.
“He can go to a personal experience,” said Cardinals’ manager Roberto Espinoza. “When you’ve got all those years in pro baseball, you can see stuff that those guys will see at some point but somebody needs to tell them ‘hey, watch this.’ That’s what Brandon does and he does a great, great job with that part.”
From the batter’s box to the coach’s box, helping players get the call that he’ll never forget.
“I was with Arizona, in Reno, and I got the call and we were playing in Houston and that’s my hometown. So my first big league game, my parents and everybody were able to just drive to come see me, so that’s my biggest moment.”