According to Dejan Kovacevic and Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates are converting Stetson Allie, their second-round draft choice in the 2010 MLB Draft, to a batter.
When the Pirates drafted Allie in the second round of the 2010 draft and signed him to a $2.25 million bonus, well above what most second round picks get, Pirates fans were exuberant. Although Allie has topped 100 miles per hour on various occasions, the Pirates and their minor-league development staff believe that he will be better fit for Major League Baseball playing in the field.
Despite being one of the top prospects in the past two offseasons, Allie has struggled with his control in the past two minor league seasons. Despite striking out 29 batters in 26.2 professional innings, he has walked 37 batters for a BB/9 of 12.5 and a K/BB of 0.78 (Pirates team average is 2.31).
Allie was drafted as a pitcher, but he could have easily been taken as a position player. Kevin Goldstein writes, “As a high school third baseman, Stetson Allie had crazy raw power and a ton of swing and miss. 3rd-5th round talent.” In his senior year in high school, Allie hit .500/.670/.838 in 120 plate appearances.