I anxiously awaited Friday night's game between the West Virginia Power and the Hagerstown Suns because I was going to finally see the power arm of 2010 second round selection Stetson Allie.
I was very pleased when the Pirates gambled on being able to sign the first round arm of Allie by selecting him in round two and was able to bring Allie into the fold for a bonus of between 1.5 and 2 million dollars.
I even ranked Allie as the systems second rated prospect in last years top 15 (this years coming soon) and despite needing to harness his control,that arms ability to hit triple digits on the radar gun still had me enthralled.
Well,this years rankings are finished (although not posted) and last night's outing will not affect that,although I am sure that his effort will be mentioned in Allie's paragraph.
Stetson Allie had a crazy stat line last season with the State College Spikes with an ERA over six ,walks per nine innings of ten plus and strikeout numbers of over nine plus and that says more than I could write about his arm and lack of command.
I spoke to my friend and Pirate prospect guru Wilbur Miller about Allie before the game and he said that he thought Allie had the best stuff of ALL the Pirates system pitchers,which includes 2011 top overall pick Gerrit Cole and 2010 second overall selection Jameson Taillon.
Wilbur raved about the hard slider that Allie possessed and I was very anxious to see the suburban Cleveland native take the mound.
Sometimes,seeing is not believing as I could not believe what I saw.
As in this line-1/3 inning,2 runs,4 walks 3 wild pitches,a hit batsman and a strikeout which should have never been as the victim was Hagerstown veteran Brett Newsome,who's three strikes were a borderline high strike that looked like a mercy called strike,Newsome swinging and missing a ball a foot outside and missing a slider that narrowly missed hitting him.
Allie's pitches were not close or even the type of wild pitches that elude a catcher in the dirt.
These were not those types,these were far outside pitches and one thing kept occurring to me and my compadre' Bill Cover-this was like watching Nuke LaLoosh from Bull Durham.
When the player that you are comparing a player to is a fictional character from a film-you know that this is a memorable evening.
Finally,after these six batters,Allie was removed from the game and showed his frustration in the dugout for which I can understand his feelings,Allie had thrown just seven strikes and as noted earlier had received help on most of them from either the umpire or the batter.
I did a bit of talking and got a general reading on how hard Allie was throwing,he touched the 97-98 range and was often in the mid 90's.
I do not know whether to laugh or cry after watching on this night,but two things are pretty certain-Stetson Allie has a major league arm and has major issues in finding the strike zone.
I would not want to put Allie aside as a prospect after just one night,but whether Stetson Allie ever makes it to Pittsburgh or not,he will be always a fond memory as the living,breathing embodiment of one Ebby Calvin LaLoosh.....