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The 11 best Mets minor league pitchers I saw this year: 1, Matthew Allan

Counting down the best minor league pitchers I saw in 2019.

Matthew Allan
Matthew Allan
Steve Sypa

DISCLAIMER: This is a ranking of the best players that I saw during the 2019 season. I saw a wide cross-section of teams, attending Kingsport Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones, Columbia Fireflies, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies games, but I did not see the GCL Mets, St. Lucie Mets, or Syracuse Mets, nor did I attend every single game of the teams that I did see. As such, this is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. If a player is not on the list, I either did not see him, or considered the listed players better.

Name: Matthew Allan

Team: GCL Mets/Brooklyn Cyclones

Position: RHP

Born: 4/17/01 (18)

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 225 lbs.

Bats/Throws: R/R

Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft, 3rd Round

2019 Season: 6 G (5 GS), 10.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER (2.61 ERA), 5 BB, 14 K, 0 HBP, 0 BLK, 1 WP, .385 BABIP (Rookie/Short-A)

Date(s) Seen: September 5 (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K), September 10 (3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

The Man

In October 1955, a brash 22-year-old left-hander told his teammates that if they could give him a single run, he would guarantee a victory. True to his word, Johnny Podres threw a shutout and the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Yankees, winning their first- and only- World Series championship. Fast forward almost 65 years later, and once again a brash youngster guaranteed victory if his team could score him a run. Matthew Allan told coach Kenne Brown, “Just give me one run, that’s all I’ll need,” and sure enough it was. Needing a win over DeLand to make it the Class 9A, District 2 finals, Matthew Allan threw a perfect game, striking out 17 and beating the Bulldogs 6-0. They would go on to win the state championship, their first since 1992.

It might’ve been his best game of the spring, but it certainly wasn’t the only game in which Allan dazzled. While not a complete unknown coming into the 2019 season, Matthew Allan wasn’t exactly at the top of the draft boards. Thanks to a strong showcase on the summer circuit in 2018 and then an excellent spring, Allan rocketed up the draft boards. Coming into the 2019 MLB Draft, the right-hander was considered among the best prep pitchers in the entire draft class. While his talent on the mound was undeniable, a strong commitment to the University of Florida and other concerns scared teams away from drafting him in the draft’s early selections.

When Matthew Allan ended up going unselected on the first night of the 2019 MLB Draft, Marc Tramuta and Tommy Tanous had a long night ahead of them, making phone calls and carefully planning how they would navigate day two of the draft. When the it came the Mets’ turn to select when day two of the draft began, they selected Allan with their third-round pick, the 89th selection overall. The Mets drafted inexpensive college seniors for the rest of day two in order to save money in their bonus pool, and the two sides eventually agreed to a $2.5 million signing bonus, almost the $667,900 assigned slot bonus.

He was assigned to the GCL Mets to start his professional career. There, he posted a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 4, and striking out 11. Shortly after the GCL season came to a premature close due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian, the Mets promoted Allan to the Brooklyn Cyclones, to get the right-hander some more work and to help bolster the Cyclones’ pitching staff as they sought to secure a playoff spot. Allan debuted for the Cyclones against the Staten Island Yankees in their last series of the season, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk over two innings, striking out three. The Cyclones clinched a postseason berth a few days later, and Allan played an important role in their playoff run, throwing five perfect innings with two strikeouts in two multi-inning relief appearances for the Cyclones in the playoffs.

The Pitcher

Throwing from a three-quarters arm slot with a high leg kick, Allan has fluid, effortless mechanics and a strong, durable frame, which should allow him the ability to soak up innings in the future. At 6’3”, 225-pounds, he is mostly filled in- especially in his lower half- but there may still be a bit of room left in his frame to add muscle. He periodically has control problems related to his arm action in the back, but Allan is otherwise mechanically sound.

His fastball sits in the mid-90s, sitting 94-95 with the ability to top out at 97 MPH. Combined with the arm-side run it exhibits, the pitch is almost certainly an above-average pitch currently, with the ability to improve. The right-hander is able to command it well, spotting it to all four quadrants of the strike zone.

Complementing his fastball is a curveball and changeup, the former of which is his best offering at present. Sitting in the high-70s-to-low-70s with sharp 11-5 break, Allan’s curveball was one of the best in the entire 2019 MLB Draft class. He has an excellent feel for it and is able to command it, peppering it in the strike zone and burying it to get batters fishing. Like his fastball, the pitch is an above-average offering at the present, with the potential to improve. His changeup lags behind his other pitches in its development, but it shows considerable promise. Sitting 85-87 MPH, when the pitch is working, it features arm-side tumble and fade; when it is not, it stays firm and loses its vertical drop. The pitch currently is below-average, but has the potential to be an average or better pitch in the future.

Looking to 2020

The Mets showed a lot of confidence in Allan when they promoted him to Brooklyn, and Edgardo Alfonzo showed a lot of confidence in him utilizing him as much as they did during the Cyclones’ playoff run. To his credit, the right-hander looked like he absolutely belonged, showing no hesitancy against any of the Staten Island Yankees, Hudson Valley Renegades, and Lowell Spinners that he faced. Though he logged only a handful of innings in the New York-Penn League, Allan is clearly skilled and mature enough to face tougher competition and should begin the 2020 with the Columbia Fireflies.

The List

1: Matthew Allan

2: Simeon Woods Richardson

3: Junior Santos

4: Thomas Szapucki

5: Ryley Gilliam

6: Mickey Jannis

7: Bryce Hutchinson

8: Garrison Bryant

9: Tylor Megill

10: Nick MacDonald

11: Josh Hejka