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Herald article on Jeff Allison

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Marlins nab ace at No. 16
He's called top pitcher in draft
BY KEVIN BAXTER

Jeff Allison


Jeff Allison would like to correct the record.

''I'm not cocky,'' he said. ``It's all confidence.''

Whatever.

Just let the record show that, within hours of becoming Florida's first-round pick in baseball's amateur draft Tuesday, Allison pronounced the Marlins lucky to have him and said he hopes to be an All-Star within two years.

''I know I'm ready to go,'' said Allison, a 6-2, 195-pound right-hander from Peabody-Veterans Memorial High in Peabody, Mass. ``I'm confident in myself. If I make it, I think I'll have a real impact.''

The Marlins are counting on that. Baseball America, which called Allison the most dominant amateur pitcher in the country, rated him as the fifth-best player in the draft. So it was a surprise he was still available when the Marlins, who picked 16th, made their first-round selection.

''With the draft, I don't know if you can ever be surprised because there are so many different philosophies,'' said Stan Meek, the Marlins' director of scouting. But the Marlins' philosophy, Meek said, is simple: ``You always try to just get the best guys you can. We just try to focus on athletes and guys we think have tools.''

With the draft's No. 1 pick, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays took Delmon Young, a 17-year-old outfielder who hit .544 with seven home runs and 28 RBI for Camarillo (Calif.) High. The Milwaukee Brewers, picking second, took Rickie Weeks of Altamonte Springs, who hit .483 with 17 homers and 73 RBI for Southern University, where he led the nation in hitting for two straight seasons.

Ryan Harvey, a five-tool outfielder from Dunedin High, was the next Florida player chosen, going to the Chicago Cubs with the sixth pick.

But drafting the players is the easy part of the equation. Signing them is where things can get complicated. The Baltimore Orioles, for example, didn't sign their top draft pick from last year until a week ago.

And with signing bonuses for first-round picks from the 2002 draft averaging nearly $2 million -- the 16th pick has averaged more than $1.6 million the past two years -- the Marlins have their work cut out for them in trying to sign Allison.

''We hope we can sign him,'' Meek said. ``We'll try to sign him for what the market says and without our parameters.''

Allison, who says his fastball has hit 98 mph, was the ace of the U.S. junior national team last summer. This spring he's 8-0, allowing no earned runs and eight hits in 55 innings for Peabody-Veterans. He struck out 128 while walking 10.

And whether you call it confidence or cockiness, Meek said Allison's attitude is a plus.

''That's one of the things you look for,'' said Meek, who saw Allison strike out 20 of 22 batters in a seven-inning no-hitter last month. He also hit a three-run homer and knocked in six runs. ``He's kind of been on the radar screen for a while.''

With the rest of their first-day picks, the Marlins chose 10 pitchers, five infielders, a catcher and three outfielders.

Meek spent his 20th-round pick on Seferino Encarnaci?n, the brother of Marlins right fielder Juan Encarnaci?n. The younger Encarnaci?n said he planned to play junior college baseball in the United States, but the Marlins decided to draft him after watching him work out.

The Marlins also took Florida Atlantic right-hander Christopher Pillsbury with their 13th-round pick. In the eighth round, they chose Tanner Rogers, a 6-0, 180-pound catcher from Columbine High in Littleton, Colo.


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Jeff Allison
Position: Pitcher
High School: Peabody Veterans Memorial (Peabody, Massachusetts)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 195
Notes: A righthander who is a definite top 10 pick...Has sparkled this season with a 7-0 record and an 0.00 ERA...Struck out 20 of the 22 batters in a game against Somerville on May 19...Has allowed just seven hits and nine walks, while fanning 118 over 51 innings this year...Has thrown as high as 98 mph and also has a good slider that gets into the upper 80s...Also has a curve in the mid-80s and his changeup has been clocked in the upper 70s...Has great command of all his pitches and excellent at nibbling around the corners...Can be even better if he hits the weight room...Committed to the University of Arizona.
 

AJBurnett34

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Well he is the future AJ throwing 98 MPH. I hope he developes fast, where is he going to Single A??
 

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Well he is the future AJ throwing 98 MPH. I hope he developes fast, where is he going to Single A??
great :rolleyes:

so he will blow out his arm in 3 years


i hope this kid is every bit as good as they say he is
 

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so he will blow out his arm in 3 years


i hope this kid is every bit as good as they say he is
Well AJ blew out his arm at 26. This kid is only 18...

But I love his attitude. Reminds me of an older me, except I play Catcher.

We aren't cocky (yea right :rolleyes: ), but confident and intimidating.
 

Ramp

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well Dontrelle is cocky.....

let's hope this kid has an emergence like good ol DW
 

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well Dontrelle is cocky.....
1) You wouldn't know it with all the class he shows.

2) He has reason to be.
 

Fish Fillet

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At least D-Train has made it up to the bigs, that gives him the right to be a little cocky, I think.

This kid is still smearing oxy on his face and wondering who is having the all-nighter after graduation.

It's no wonder he got a rap as a cocky kid looking for a huge signing bonus and slid down to the teens in the draft. This already looks like trouble. Once again the Marlin FO ignoring prevelant wisdom and bucking the trend. But maybe it'll work out.

Another year of the Marlins draft. Are the pacifiers and formula for these kids a write-off, or do they eat the cost on these? Is it against the law to go after quality college talent?
 

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This already looks like trouble.
Sure does...We got a pitcher with no ERA, which is good dispite where and at what level you play. The best HS pitcher in the draft, who throws 98-100, and has two other amazing pitchs trouble...

Can you really say that with a straight face?
 

Ramp

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yea.... this is awful news.....the 'so-called' best pitcher int eh draft falls to the 16th spot and we should be upset?
 

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yea.... this is awful news.....the 'so-called' best pitcher int eh draft falls to the 16th spot and we should be upset?
Im crying all the way to the 2007 World Series :boo-woo
 

Fish Fillet

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Can we sign him, though? Are Scrooge and the rest of the Insane Clown Posse in the FO going to pony up more than bus fare to land the guy?

$1.6 is steep, especially coming from the Marlins perspective. And remember, if there is any possible way the Marlins FO can screw up, they find it.

But I'll be the 1st to admit the MLB draft is not my strong suit, maybe you all can "ease my pain".

It's just that I have visions of this kid holding out for a year or two, or worse case maybe going all the way back into the draft a'la JD Drew, or getting disgruntled over petty issues in the minors that stem from prolonged negotiations, etc.

God, these HS kids have so much to endure before they make it up, even if they are prodigies. Anyone know what the attrition rate is for HS and college draftees?
 

Ramp

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yea.... this is awful news.....the 'so-called' best pitcher int eh draft falls to the 16th spot and we should be upset?
Im crying all the way to the 2007 World Series :boo-woo or he could 'pull a DW' and be up in 2 or 3 years....

Im just saying, it's a pretty good pick and will hopefully be the steal of the draft
 

Fish Fillet

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Im crying all the way to the 2007 World Series
Marlins Bandit
Whew!! That was a doozie. Wow.

Better put the tinfoil hat back on and stop listening to the alien radio transmissions.

YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!

J. McEnroe
 

Marlins Bandit

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God, these HS kids have so much to endure before they make it up, even if they are prodigies. Anyone know what the attrition rate is for HS and college draftees?
I read somewhere on ESPN.com yesterday that a huge fact that is overlooked is rounds 1-7 the HS and College pitchers generally pan out the same with the exception of round 2.
 

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Is it against the law to go after quality college talent?
Their 2nd pick, Texas A&M sophomore right-hander Logan Kensing, a 6-1, 20-year-old with a good sinker could be a future starter also.
 

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