After selecting Jameson Taillon second overall in the 2010 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected another impressive arm in Round 2 in St. Edward High School RHP Stetson Allie. The Pirates signed Allie to a well above-slot 2.25 million dollar bonus. Allie may very well earn that bonus. But the indications are that it will not come on the mound.
Allie came out of St. Edward with staggering stuff. His fastball was consistently in the mid-to-high 90′s and touched 100 MPH. And he combined it with a low-90′s slider that was downright devastating when it was on. Allie had the potential to be an ace-type major league starter, and if that panned out he had plenty of stuff to close out games. But while young pitchers often struggle, no one was ready for just how bad Allie would be.
Allie came out of the 2010 Draft with concern about his control and command. But his stuff was electric and the at least mediocre control would have to come eventually. But it never did. Allie was tough to watch in his 2011 pro debut, striking out 28 in 26 innings at Short Season-A State College, but walking 29. But even that couldn’t hold a candle to what happened to Allie to begin 2012. In 2 games, Allie retired a combined two batters, striking out 1 and allowing just 1 hit, but walking a horrific 8. His walks per 9 innings ratio for the brief stint was 108.0- no that is not a typo. The Pirates had seen enough. On Monday they announced that Allie would be converted to third base.
Allie played third base at St. Edward and was quite good. He showed excellent bat speed with legitimate power, and at third base he had solid actions with, we know, his ridiculous arm. If Allie had attended the University of North Carolina, he could have very well played both as a pitcher and a position player, at least for some period of time. But power-hitting third basemen with great arms aren’t exceedingly hard to find. You don’t see high school pitchers who throw easily in the high-90′s with a dominating breaking pitch too often. His bat was overlooked, and even if a team liked him better as a position player, they were not going to give him 2 million-plus dollars.
Allie has always been an excellent athlete and he has the ability to succeed as a third baseman. He hasn’t hit consistently for a few years but the talent was evident and his feel for hitting will soon come back. He has ability to hit and hit for power and we should see that when he resumes his pro career. No guarantees at all, but Allie has some legitimate talent as a position player. Allie will be an interesting story if he can make it to the big leagues at the hot corner. But even then, will people consider him a bust?