“Hitting is Timing. Pitching is disrupting timing.”
For most Blue Jays fans, Dunedin LHP Nick Allgeyer has toiled mostly in anonymity.
After a strong debut pro season with Vancouver last year following being selected in the 12th round from Iowa, Allgeyer has been lights out in the streaming black hole that is the Florida State League.
If he continues to pitch as well he has through his first half dozen starts for the D-Jays (1.36 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, .188 OppBA), fans will get to see more of him and quickly get to know his name. That he played high school hockey in his native St Louis, and briefly considered pursuing a junior career will only endear him to Blue Jays fans.
Players chosen on day two of the MLB draft, unlike the top ten rounders selected the previous day, are not regarded as mostly safe bets. The talent level between the two days may not be significant, but generally speaking the players taken on the second day have seen their stock fall for one reason or another. Sometimes, in the case of college players, it’s the misfortune of having a sub-par draft year compared to their first college campaigns. In Allgeyer’s situation, spending his first two college seasons as a reliever and then missing his junior season may have caused him to slip to day two. At the same time, he became Iowa’s Friday starter in his redshirt junior year, and worked six or more innings in each of his last 14 starts for the Hawkeyes. With stuff that Baseball America said was “not exceptional,” he may have slid as well, but the last line in their draft report may have given a glimpse of things to come:
It’s definitely better here in Dunedin than in Lansing (weather-wise), but I’m just grateful to have skipped a level. It’s not something that happens all the time, and I’m just trying to make the best of this opportunity.
That’s a big thing that was preached in college….try to limit the free bases. You can’t eliminate them because it’s a part of the game, but try to limit them as much as you can, and I think that’s been a big help, especially with the help I’ve had from my Catchers, like Chris (Bec, who caught him in Vancouver last year, and Dunedin this season), and Riley (Adams, recently promoted to AA), and (Alejandro) Kirky (just up from Lansing). They’ve all been calling good games, and have been very trustworthy.
I don’t know if there’s much of a secret…..there’s a lot of pitching people who talk about mixing pitches, and throwing strikes, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do….just throw strikes with all of my pitches, and then work with the defence behind me – mine has helped me out a lot, that’s awesome. I’ve had some great D, and the offence has scored some runs while I’ve been pitching, so it’s been a mixture of everything.
You have to be able to command your fastball to both sides of the plate, then everything else falls into place. If you can to that, it’s a good start……..I don’t really rely on any one pitch (as much as) I rely on all of them. I try to throw all of them as much as possible, and try to mix in a little bit more than half fastballs, but I’m trying to throw any pitch in any count…..whatever I can do to keep hitters off balance.My command isn’t big league (yet), so most of the time I’m trying to throw to the sides of the plate. You think up and down, but when it comes crunch time, you’re trying to get inside or outside depending on the hitter – whether he’s a slap hitter, power hitter.
One of the big keys to me about Pitching is disrupting timing……I do a couple of different variations with my windup. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly like (Marcus) Stroman, but I’ve learned a lot just from watching him – I watch what he does, and I like how he mixes up the timing of his delivery. I think he really throws off hitters, and that makes his stuff play up.
I’ve gotten great scouting reports from all of our coaching staff, and Jim has done a great job with telling me the game plan before we go in, how we want to throw each guy, and how we want to attack them.It was a very comfortable feeling coming here. I know what I was going to get with Cy, and it was really helpful to me…..it just made the adjustment easier, and I know what to expect every day when I come to the park about what I need to do.
Vancouver was awesome. It was way more than I could have expected. We had 6400 fans a night, and my host family – the Gustavsons – were fantastic. They showed me around the city, and it was a blast. It was everything I could ask for an more.I had never been to Canada, but Vancouver had the mountains, the ocean….it was awesome.
That (recovery) was a big thing – you need to get healthy, and all you can do is rehab and recover because you can’t practice or throw. That was my practice, so that’s how I contributed and made myself feel a part of the team.
It (his hip mobility) is not the best by any means, but it’s a daily task that I have to keep grinding away at. I think your hips and thoracic mobility are a big party of staying out there on the mound. I played a lot of hockey growing up, and a big part of being able to push through and develop power skating is to be strong in your legs and hips.
I was a forward, played some centre but mostly on the wings…..there was an opportunity (to play at a higher level) to try to go the junior route in Michigan, but that would’ve meant being away from home and school, and baseball became what it’s all about. I love hockey – it’s one of my favourite sports, and I love watching it, but baseball worked out, and here we are…..
You can’t look too far ahead, you have to take it day by day…what I’m trying to do is get ready for my next start every 5th day, and give my team a chance to win every time I go out to pitch. That’s the main goal – put up as many 0’s as I can, and when I get into trouble try to limit the damage.
As always, there are numerous sources of research that help one prepare for an interview with a player. Niall at csplusbaseball.com spoke to Allgeyer last fall, and gives more in-depth information about him.