STETSON ALLIE, FIRST BASEMAN
|Born: March 13, 1991
Height: 6′ 4″
Drafted: 2nd Round, 52nd Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
High School: St. Edwards HS (Ohio)
Agent: Hendricks Brothers
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates aimed high by drafting Allie with their second pick. Baseball America rated him the eighth best prospect in the draft, but he fell surprisingly far due to his bonus demands, which didn’t seem to be all that extreme. He was known primarily for velocity; in high school his fastball sat in the mid-90s and routinely came in faster. In his last outing before the draft, he reached triple digits a half dozen times. He also threw a hard slider that got into the low-90s. With stuff like that, he was nearly unhittable in high school, which is why he had only a rudimentary changeup.
Allie presented substantial risks when he was drafted. He was a good prospect as a power-hitting thirdbaseman and pitched only a little before his senior year, so he had unusually limited experience. A lot of his focus was simply on lighting up the radar guns and he had little control in the early part of his senior season. His draft status picked up when he started showing better command. The Pirates’ selection of Allie inevitably drew speculation that he was just a fallback in case they failed to sign first-round pick Jameson Taillon. The Pirates, however, made it clear from the start that they intended to sign both and, in the end, they did. As expected, it took until the last day of the signing period, with Allie accepting a $2.25M bonus to pass up a scholarship to North Carolina.
The Pirates sent Allie to State College to start the season. In retrospect, it may have been an overly ambitious assignment. His first few starts went alright, but the control problems surfaced and he had some outings where he just couldn’t get anything over. After seven starts the Pirates had him pitch in relief. He ended up walking 29 in 26 innings, and added nine hit batsmen and seven wild pitches. On the positive side, he fanned a lot and opponents hit only .208 against him. It may not mean anything given the small sample size, but left-handed batters hit .341 while right-handed batters hit .096. He also was much less likely to walk righties. His fastball sat in the 93-95 range, which is realistic given the need to gain better command.
Allie was throwing much better in spring training, although his control still was a problem. The Pirates sent him to West Virginia to open the season and it was a disaster. In two outings he managed to retire only two batters while walking eight, hitting one and throwing three wild pitches. The Pirates sent him back to extended spring training and things did not improve. The team eventually had him start playing two ways in exhibitions, which led to a mutual decision to move him off the mound, a move that the team announced on the eve of the 2012 draft.
This was obviously not good news. Allie was at least a mid-1st-round talent as a pitcher. As a hitter, Baseball Prospectus characterized Allie as a 3rd to 5th round talent. His hitting skills mirror his pitching: he has prodigious power, but swings and misses a lot. The Pirates sent him to the GCL, where he initially played third. After he committed eight errors on just 30 chances, the team moved him to first, although he also served as DH a lot. Despite his lack of experience, he’s solid defensively at first. At the plate, Allie showed good power and a willingness to take a walk, but he struck out in a third of his ABs. When the GCL Pirates reached the playoffs, which they eventually won, Allie didn’t play. The team instead used Eric Wood at third and Edwin Espinal at first.
Allie became a big story in the first half of the season. The Pirates, a little surprisingly, sent him to West Virginia and he put up huge numbers there. The strikeouts, though, were a warning sign. The Pirates promoted him to Bradenton at mid-season and he mostly struggled at that level. He continued to strike out in a third of his ABs, but didn’t hit with anywhere near the same authority. A lot of his HRs turned into doubles. After hitting RHPs at least as well as LHPs at West Virginia, he posted only a .647 OPS against them at Bradenton, compared to .776 against LHPs.
Allie was eligible for the Rule 5 draft prior to the season, but wasn’t added to the roster and wasn’t selected. He seemed a candidate to return to Bradenton, but the Pirates moved him up to Altoona. The move turned out well, which isn’t to say that Allie was an unqualified success. He got blazing hot a couple weeks into the season, then slumped badly, then was up and down the rest of the year. His monthly lines (he played in only 13 games in June after getting beaned):
In the last two months of the season, he seemed to be toning his swing down to make more contact. In August his K rate dropped from its usual one every three and a half ABs to one every four and a half, and he hit six HRs. Allie had a fairly large platoon split, posting an OPS of .867 against LHPs and .763 against RHPs. When I’ve seen him, he’s played well defensively, going back toward the stands well on pop flies and making tough pickups on throws.
The Pirates sent Allie back to AA rather than move him up and the decision looked sensible in the event because he took a step backward at the plate. For the most part, his hitting was very similar to the previous year, but his BABIP dropped to .256, about 50-60 points below his norm, and his walk rate dropped. He struggled severely with RHPs, getting victimized routinely by sliders, leading to an OPS against them of just .597. He had an .846 OPS against LHPs. Month by month his hitting remained about the same all year. Allie played right field exclusively, looking awkward early in the season but eventually adapting well to the position. Not surprisingly, he showed an outstanding arm and registered 16 outfield assists.
Allie spent the year in Altoona, playing right field exclusively. He rebounded somewhat from his 2015 season, but didn’t hit quite as well as he had in 2014, the main difference being a much lower walk rate. The strikeouts continued as always. Allie had an up-and-down season, with a big month in July (.947 OPS), but three months with an OPS ranging from .616 to 690.
Allie will be a free agent after the season, so his time in the Pirates organization is almost certainly about to end.
|2016: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $2,250,000
MiLB Debut: 2011
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2013
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 8, 2010: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round, 52nd overall pick; signed on August 16.|