The 2018 Charlottesville Tom Sox are bringing back another player very familiar to our fans, junior catcher Jake Allen, who is currently playing at Harvard University under Head Coach Bill Decker. The 5’11 195 pounder went to Saint Anne’s Belfield School in Charlottesville, where he was a 2-time first team All-State honoree and prep league player of the year in 2015.
Allen played a full summer with the Sox in 2016, after his freshman season. He was a valuable left-handed bat, and did a great job managing the pitching staff. Sox fans will remember that in our 2017 championship season, Allen joined us on the last day of the regular season and caught almost all of our playoff innings. He played the first 2 months of the summer in the California Collegiate League, for the Walnut Creek Crawdads where he batted .292.
Allen had this to say about his return to the Tom Sox. “From the start, the Tom Sox set a goal to be the best summer college team in the country. I know their leadership means that. I know they believe that being the best includes, but is not limited to, the product that is put on the field. I love the environment around this organization. I love that they want to develop the 50 players that wear the uniform each summer beyond the baseball field. This is my last summer to be able play ball, and there is simply no other place that I could imagine going that can offer what the Sox can offer.”
This Fall, Allen has returned to prestigious Cambridge, MA school and by all accounts, has had a tremendous Fall season and looks to be the front runner to be the Crimson’s starting catcher. He is studying philosophy and plans to intern for a law firm while in Charlottesville this summer.
Tom Sox Head Coach Corey Hunt is ecstatic to have the experienced Allen back with the 2018 ball club. “Jake is such a tough competitor. When we needed someone to step up during our postseason run last year, Jake was the guy. You can tell when a guy is hurt, but has the ability to fight through the pain for his teammates. Jake is that guy. He was a big reason why we were successful down the stretch of our 2017 season. I look forward to working with him again and allowing our fans to see him compete all summer long.
GM Jeff Burton added “Jake was so happy to get the call to join our playoff bound team in 2017. He had experienced the losses of 2016. With another year of growth and maturity, I know he wanted to come back and help us win. When he left to go back to school this Fall, he was such an obvious candidate to bring back for 2018. When we are selecting players we typically have many catchers from which to choose, you have to know that your backstop can handle 15-20 new arms; that he knows how to call a game; that he is a tough, grinder at the plate; that he’s a team first guy. There are certain qualities that are important to every summer team, and then there are things that we, the Tom Sox specifically, look for. Jake checks all those boxes. We simply couldn’t be happier to have such a veteran, risk free asset back.”
Welcome back to the Tom Sox, Jake Allen.