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Jeff Allison


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if you wanna learn more about everyone's faorite prospect, read this


2003 Baseball America High School

Player of the Year: Jeff Allison


by Alan Matthews

June 20, 2003


Previous Winners


Preston Wilson, of/rhp

Bamberg-Ehrhardt (S.C.) HS



Trot Nixon, of/lhp

New Hanover HS, Wilmington, N.C.



Doug Million, lhp

Sarasota (Fla.) HS



Ben Davis, c

Malvern (Pa.) Prep



Matt White, rhp

Waynesboro Area (Pa.) HS



Darnell McDonald, of, Cherry Creek HS

Englewood, Colo.



Drew Henson, 3b/rhp

Brighton (Mich.) HS



Josh Hamilton, of/lhp

Athens Drive HS, Raleigh, N.C.



Matt Harrington, rhp

Palmdale (Calif.) HS



Joe Mauer, c, Cretin-Derham Hall

St. Paul, Minn.



Scott Kazmir, lhp

Cypress Falls HS, Houston


Young athletes growing up in the Northeast most often gravitate to hockey, basketball or football. Summers are short and winters bitterly cold, making baseball a less attractive option and ensuring fewer blue-chip baseball prospects than other regions.


But Massachusetts' Jeff Allison shattered those stereotypes with a senior season that earned him Baseball America's High School Player of the Year Award.


The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association voted last fall to ban metal bats for the 2003 regular season and tournament. Somewhere, Allison was grinning ear to ear.


The 6-foot-2, 195-pound righthander from Veterans Memorial High of Peabody, Mass., had already dominated hitters armed with aluminum as a junior. He was downright devastating this spring against those wielding wood.


Allison tossed 63 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. He was 9-0, 0.00 with 142 strikeouts and nine walks, surrendering just 13 hits and one unearned run. He also batted .441-2-29.


"A number of times after Allison won a game all the reporters went and talked to the players that got hits," coach Ed Nizwantowski said. "That's how good he was, they wanted to talk to the guy who (reached base) against him. I've coached for 34 years and this was something special. Rarely do you run into something like this."


Dogged Demeanor


As electric as his arm is, Allison offers an equally overpowering attitude. He pitches with ferocity, trying to overpower opponents with both his stuff and his will.


"I don't care where you're from," Allison said. "I know where I'm from and I'm going to dominate you. It's a different mentality I've had all my life."


And Allison, the Marlins' first-round pick, supported that statement this spring. He tossed a two-hitter in his first outing, a 7-0 win over Everett (Mass.) High and spun consecutive no-hitters in May, the first in a 2-0 win against Cambridge High of Weston, Mass., and the second against Somerville (Mass.) High in a 10-0 win in which he struck out 20. Allison's award-winning season also featured four one-hitters.


"So many times during the course of the year, he would stand up guys with his breaking ball," Nizwantowski said. "But to me the difference was his control. His control was astronomical and his determination is unbelievable."


Some may say Allison's season deserves an asterisk because of Massachusetts' use of wood bats (the MIAA announced to return to aluminum bats in 2004), but he disagrees.


"You'd think it would be easier but I didn't think it was," he said. "Whenever I'm pitching every team shortens their swing. But I just play a little harder than they do and some say I get into their heads.


"You look into their face, eye-to-eye before they get into the box. Once you throw that first curveball and their knees buckle, that's when you know they're nervous. And then they're a second late on the fastball and you know you've got them."


As if his mid-90s fastball, mid-80s power breaking ball and good control weren't enough of an advantage, Allison's tenacious approach gave him an extra edge.


"He's the real deal," said Pat Yanchus, the coach at nearby St. John's Prep, which lost to Allison in the district semifinals. "He's throwing in the mid-90s, and he has a good curve and throws it almost 85. Most guys aren't throwing their fastballs that hard."

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