Stetson Allie is in the smokin’ hot slugging zone. The Pittsburgh Pirates made pretty big waves when they switched Stetson Allie from a pitcher to a position player. It was a move that Allie wanted to make after some frustrating time as a power pitcher. Allie started as a third baseman in the Gulf Coast League, and was moved to first base and at various times since the switch he has captured our interest.
Now is definently one of those times.
In Allie’s start to hitting he was more of a “feast-or-famine,” type player. If you might recall, the Ohio native collected two hits in his GCL debut as a hitter and then went a while till he collected three more hits. He was pretty good against inferior left handed pitching.
Last year was pretty AC/DC for the 22-year old. While playing in 66 games for Low-A West Virginia Power, he stroked the ball to the tune of a .324/.414/.607 triple slash with 17 bombs. But during 66 games at High-A Bradenton, he was a different guy hitting just .229/.342/.356, with four homers.
So what do the Bucs do? They promoted him to Altoona. Who said the Bucs don’t move their talent through the system in an aggressive manner? Moving Allie to Altoona could have been an M80 blowing up right in the face of Neal Huntington. It screamed for fans to criticize their agressiveness. But Neal Huntington and the boys don’t really care about your stupid comments.
Allie got lean this offseason and scouts say he looks more relaxed as he plays first base. The biggest struggle initially was the free time he was given as a pitcher. Free time wasn’t a good thing for Allie. The second challenge was his defense at the hot corner. So now with that pressure off the right handed slugger, he can focus a bit more on his offense. And oh, has he.
The Pirates gave Allie a big challenge this season. He took it seriously and obviously went to work in the offseason. It’s starting to pay big dividends as he has been on a tear against elevated Double A competition.
When the switch was initially made the Pirates people we spoke with said that it would take a while for him to shake off the rust, but once he did, the “sky was the limit.”
Of course, that remains to be seen.
But what’s nice to see is the success. Allie is answering the challenge. The power he is showing against some talented AA pitching is impressive. We think it’s safe to say that his success on defense, the new ‘lean and mean’ body mass, and improved strike zone discipline have him off to a pretty good start. Now he needs to continue to strive for excellence, if Allie wants to make some money as a big leaguer, he needs to slug his way out of Double-A.
Make it happen big fella, everyone in Pittsburgh is watching.
The grand slam looked so damn easy.