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Monday, June 04, 2012

Bucs decide to switch Allie to position player

U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no Allie..bye!

The Pirates are making a major move with a major talent.

The club is converting hard-throwing pitching prospect Stetson Allie into a hitter, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Sunday.

Allie, 21, was selected by the Pirates in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and signed for $2.25 million. Allie, drafted out of St. Edward High in Ohio, could hit 100 mph on the radar gun.

Huntington, who said that the conversion was “recently” made, didn’t specify what position Allie would play…

Allie compiled a 6.58 ERA with 29 walks and 28 strikeouts in 26 innings at Single-A State College last year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:49 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft, pirates, position switch

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   1. Dan Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4148160)
I read elsewhere that they were going to try him out as a third baseman.
   2. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4148167)
Third was apparently his HS position.
   3. Austin Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4148177)
Yeah, it didn't seem like there was any real hope that he would ever discover the ability to throw strikes. But is this conversion a complete shot in the dark? Were any teams thinking of him as a hitter when he was drafted?
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4148179)
He was seen as a second- or third-round talent as a position player. Good power, some contact issues. He won one of the big h.s. home run derbies, IIRC.
   5. formerly dp Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4148184)
I read elsewhere that they were going to try him out as a third baseman.

For balance, they should convert Alvarez to pitching.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4148199)
And yes, he was a 3B in HS.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4148204)
I thought this was going to be about Gair Allie.
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4148243)
Anything that reduces his chance of being the next John Van Benschoten is fine by me.
   9. asinwreck Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4148284)
Drafting Mark Appel softens the blow of no longer projecting Allie for the rotation.
   10. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4148402)
Having been familiar with the top draft-eligible prospects for about a day and a half, Mark Appel seems like a great get for that pick.
   11. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4148566)
I'm wondering if they're not giving Allie a short season to get the position player idea out of his head so that he come back next year ready to commit to pitching.
   12. Bug Selig Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:45 AM (#4148655)
Gotta love the Pirates. Took the guy who led the nation in home runs and made him a shitty pitcher. Now, they wasted a high pick on a third baseman because he throws 100.

I wish I could be that bad at my job and keep it.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4148699)
I wish I could be that bad at my job and keep it.
They didn't. All the guys who presided over the van Benschoten disaster are gone. The current Pirates regime has built one of the best farm systems in the game, even if they misfired on Allie.
   14. asinwreck Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4148703)
Allie was a raw high-risk high-reward guy going into the draft. It was worth seeing if they could develop him as a pitcher, and not the largest shock in the world that he ran into serious control issues. Now it is worth seeing if his hit tool can develop enough to make him into a major league third baseman. $2.2 million today doesn't quite buy you Chris Volstad and is just about what Ian Stewart makes this year -- and Allie still has a good shot to be Stewart or better. As risks go, that's hardly a fatal one to make.

I like how the Pirates have pursued amateur talent under Huntington.
   15. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4148708)
The current Pirates regime has built one of the best farm systems in the game, even if they misfired on Allie.
I don't know a ton about the Pirates system, but it looks really pitching-heavy among their top-end prospects. (Not that this is a bad thing.) Cole and Taillon are studs. Rinku Singh (!) is still pitching extremely well, albeit as a lefty short reliever. Rinku's not a top-end prospect, of course, but he's a great story.

Doesn't look like they have a bunch of position players excelling this year. Alen Hanson looks like he could be an impact middle infielder and I have no clue what to make of Gregory Polanco. After Hanson and Polanco, it seems like a bunch of low-ceiling guys like Tony Sanchez who may be major league players, but probably won't be good major league players.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4148717)
The Pirates dropped a big pile of money on Josh Bell in last year's draft, and he made the BA top 100 right out of the draft. He hurt his knee in April and he won't be back until the fall, but he's one high-ceiling position player in the Pirates system.
   17. asinwreck Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4148734)
Will the Pirates bid for Soler? We'll know soon enough.

If Singh ever makes it to Pittsburgh, I wonder if he'll boost attendance from Carnegie Mellon and Pitt? It'd be a nice story.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4148736)
I wish I could be that bad at my job and keep it.


The scouting director who took JVB as a pitcher, Mickey White, is also the scouting director whose three drafts produced Jose Bautista, Chris Young (the pitcher), Ryan Doumit, Nate McLouth, Sean Burnett, Ian Snell, Zach Duke, Rajai Davis, and Chris Shelton. And in the JVB draft, he had above-slot pre-draft agreements with both Jeremy Guthrie and Stephen Drew, which were repudiated by the new administration once Littlefield took over.

But yes, he was "bad at his job" because he blew an evaluation on one first-round pick.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4148737)
Will the Pirates bid for Soler?


Word is that they like him, but not enough to top some of the heavy wallets in the bidding.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4148742)
Doesn't look like they have a bunch of position players excelling this year.


Starling Marte injured his hand in early May, which has cut into his numbers a bit (.833 OPS in April, .656 in May), and Robbie Grossman broke his hamate bone at the end of the AFL, which might explain why he's off to such a slow start.

Tony Sanchez is just a garden-variety disappointment.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4148769)
I don't know a ton about the Pirates system, but it looks really pitching-heavy among their top-end prospects. (Not that this is a bad thing.) Cole and Taillon are studs. Rinku Singh (!) is still pitching extremely well, albeit as a lefty short reliever. Rinku's not a top-end prospect, of course, but he's a great story.

Doesn't look like they have a bunch of position players excelling this year.


To be honest, this looks like a trend around baseball IMO. I don't know if teams went pitching-crazy after the sillyball era, or if kids wanted to go into pitching more, if prospect-rankers just like pitchers more, but there seems to be a dearth of really good hitters among prospect lists, especially at the power positions - 1B, 3B, COF.
   22. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4148791)
To be honest, this looks like a trend around baseball IMO. I don't know if teams went pitching-crazy after the sillyball era, or if kids wanted to go into pitching more, if prospect-rankers just like pitchers more, but there seems to be a dearth of really good hitters among prospect lists, especially at the power positions - 1B, 3B, COF.

I've noticed this as well. I think it's a combination of both; teams started collecting pitching however they could get it, and kids/coaches/parents started noticing the demand for pitching was going up, so much more emphasis was placed on learning to pitch as the best way to get to professional baseball. Also, I may totally be making this up but I seem to recall a lot of teams drafting two-way/position players and converting them to pitching over the last decade or so. I specifically remember wondering if Mark McGwire would've been converted to a pitcher in this era (he pitched a little at USC).
   23. Bug Selig Posted: June 05, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4148966)
But yes, he was "bad at his job" because he blew an evaluation on one first-round pick.


If by "one first round pick", you mean "the first pick in the draft - twice", you are spot-on.

Didn't know about the Drew and Guthrie angles. I'm not sure it helps much with respect to why you make a pitcher out of a guy seen by most as a prototypical RF and worthy of the #1 pick as a hitter, but it certainly points to organizational chaos beyond his control.

The scouting director who took JVB as a pitcher, Mickey White, is also the scouting director whose three drafts produced Jose Bautista, Chris Young (the pitcher), Ryan Doumit, Nate McLouth, Sean Burnett, Ian Snell, Zach Duke, Rajai Davis, and Chris Shelton.


Is that a big deal? Journeymen have to come from somewhere. Bautista and Shelton weren't worthy of 40-man spots and were lost for nothing. The guys you listed netted the Pirates 10.9 WAR. Surely, pissing 2 #1 overall picks off a bridge outweighs that, no?

   24. Walt Davis Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4149023)
I specifically remember wondering if Mark McGwire would've been converted to a pitcher in this era (he pitched a little at USC).

If he came along today, they'd make Babe Ruth a LOOGY.
   25. zonk Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4149030)

Tony Sanchez is just a garden-variety disappointment.


Is it really fair to call him a "disappointment"? Not to bag on a long ago draft, but I thought the word on Sanchez was always that he looked like a Steve Lake in training -- likely to have the glove to catch in the big leagues, but never the bat to be a worthy starter.
   26. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4149065)
Look, just because every hitter who comes up with the Pirates in the last 15 years has been a disappointment, and every hitter they bring in from other teams hits worse than Brendan Ryan and retires a few months later, and their first-round picks either turn out to be relentlessly mediocre or have multiple arm surgeries and become middle relievers, doesn't mean the Pirates are doing anything wrong. After all, most of their mediocre hitters get even worse when they are traded to other teams. And then there's McCutchen.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4149132)
If by "one first round pick", you mean "the first pick in the draft - twice", you are spot-on.


Actually, White wasn't in charge in either of the years when the Pirates had the first pick in the draft, 1996 and 2002. He ran the drafts from 1999 to 2001 (and didn't have a second-rounder in the last of those three).

I'm not sure it helps much with respect to why you make a pitcher out of a guy seen by most as a prototypical RF and worthy of the #1 pick as a hitter...


Why do you have such a bug up your ass about John Van Benschoten? Sure, hardly anybody saw him as a pitcher prior to the draft, but up until he tore his labrum, he was considered a very good pitching prospect. He made BA's top 100 three years, including a #24 ranking in 2003. He wasn't some joke out there - he legitimately had pitching talent, whether people recognized it on draft night or not.

Is that a big deal? Journeymen have to come from somewhere. Bautista and Shelton weren't worthy of 40-man spots and were lost for nothing. The guys you listed netted the Pirates 10.9 WAR.


Troll harder, jagoff. Dave Littlefield gives away a future All-Star SP for a fungible middle reliever who never appears in a regular season game for the Pirates, and your response is to blame the scouting director who drafted the future All-Star SP? Madness. Not to mention that Bautista and Shelton must have been worth 40-man roster spots to someone, or they wouldn't have been picked in the Rule 5 draft in the first place...

You want to see what a REAL incompetent does as scouting director for the Pirates? Look at Leland Maddox's record, or Ed Creech's.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4149134)
The Pirates have gotten a lot of stuff wrong over the last 20+ years, Crispix, but Mickey White was one of the very few guys who actually knew what the #### he was doing. Which is why he quit when Littlefield took over - he saw what was coming.

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