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Stetson Allie Likely To Begin Season At State College

Colin Dunlap reports that Stetson Allie is likely to begin the season at State College rather than West Virginia, and suggests that one reason he has been held back is due to his control:

"He's all over the place," one of the sources said. "The kid throws so darned hard, but sometimes has no idea where it's going. I mean, no idea."

Allie has hit 100 mph on occasion, and his fastball sits in the mid-90s.

Kyle Stark, director of player development, said of Allie's progression: "He was originally held back for a number of issues, ultimately being because of where his foundation is. This led to some struggles with control. However, he has made huge strides with that. He is not in extended simply because of an inability to throw strikes."

I saw Allie pitch in March and didn't note any extreme command/control issues, but it's way too early to worry much about this either way. It's completely normal for an early-round high-school pitcher to go to the NY-Penn League the year after being drafted, and we knew all along that Allie had less polish than Jameson Taillon and was therefore likely to be a bit more of a project. It sounds like the Pirates are working with Allie on his delivery, which, again, strikes me as pretty normal. Obviously, I'd much rather have everything be going perfectly and have him mowing down hitters at West Virginia right now, but the fact that he's not doing that yet doesn't much change my view of his likely career path or his upside.

Actually, if anything concerns me here, it's that Allie won't be teachable. A couple months ago, a poster at OnlyBucs was concerned about Allie's responses in this interview. Basically, Allie hated school. He likes not being in school, and throwing 100 MPH fastballs. He doesn't sound particularly excited about starting or about doing the things that go along with starting, like taking a few miles per hour off his fastball in order to maintain endurance.

Seen through that lens (and it might not be at all fair to do so at this point, since we don't yet have a complete picture of who Allie is), it makes sense that Allie would currently be throwing really hard but struggling with his command and control. I've never met Allie, and I might be making far too much out of one interview. And if you put a mic in front of me when I was 19, I probably would have said some stupid things. But you can compare his interview responses with Taillon's and judge for yourself which of the two sounds like he wants to be a big-league starter and is prepared to do what the Pirates want him to in order to achieve that goal. That's not a completely fair comparison, since Taillon clearly is uncommonly bright, but I do think some of Allie's responses are a little scary.