Two weeks ago, Neal Huntington couldn’t stress it enough–” Our goal is to have Stetson Allie be a starter,” he said. Who would have known he wasn’t talking about starter as in pitcher, but starter as in everyday position player?
So, fast forward two weeks and to some changes in Stetson Allie’s future. Let’s trust he finds his confidence once again. The news broke tonight that Stetson Allie will be converted from a pitcher to a hitter. Dejan of the Trib teased it on Twitter and here is the link with quotes from Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington.
In 2010, Allie was a big bonus baby, signing a $2.25 million dollar deal out of St. Ed’s in Ohio. The right handed pitcher (and batter) was an inexperienced player on the hill, but one that topped 100 mph on the radar gun – hence the big bucks. Huntington also knew Allie’s father rather well, it was learned on draft day.
The great part about this story is that number one, it’s not our cash. Number two, Allie would have been a reliever. It is nearly impossible for us to believe he could have become a starting pitcher in MLB.
Unfortunately, if you have ever witnessed Allie pitch, finding the strike zone was a consistent struggle. It was easy to see the heat. His slider was sick when we saw him in State College. But now, the Bucs have decided to put a bat in his hand and see how that turns out.
It’s a bit embarrassing for the Bucs development staff, but at least the team is thinking differently. If Allie struggles with the bat, maybe it will get out of his system. Maybe all this is based on the frustration that Allie must be experiencing while trying to become a pitcher. Should Allie fail in the batter’s box, he would know without a shadow of a doubt that he must roll the dice on becoming a pitcher.
In the back of his mind, he knows for a fact that he can hit. It is probably pretty easy for him to hit. So, why not put it to rest? If he hits well, he will be a hero.
We think this could work out after all.
It’s obvious that Allie is a talented athlete. But as a hitter, he was a fourth or fifth round pick – at best. We would have to think the Bucs simply can’t see the fireballer repeating his delivery consistently enough right now to be successful on the mound. So the team took a risk.
It’s not much more money than they risked on Nate McLouth, right? Let’s not argue about that; let’s just say in baseball money, it’s not that much change.
So now, the Pirates will cross their fingers and trust that Allie can regain his powerful stroke that he flashed in various games and contests while playing 3B for St. Ed’s.
At the least, it will make a good story for him one day.