Name: Matthew Allan
Weight: 225 lbs.
Acquired: 2019 MLB Draft, 3rd Round (Seminole High School)
2019 Season: 5 G (4 GS), 8.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER (1.08 ERA), 4 BB, 11 K, .263 BABIP (Rookie-GCL); 1 G (1 GS), 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER (9.00 ERA), 1 BB, 3 K, .714 BABIP (Short-A)
After helping lead Seminole High School to its first state championship since, Matthew Allan entered the draft ranked among the best prep pitchers in this year’s class. 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- which included a perfect game- Allan rocketed up the draft boards. 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 early rounds of the 2019 MLB Draft. After 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 the second day 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 above the assigned slot bonus.
The right-hander 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 him 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.
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 lives 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. Steve says:
I remember exactly where I was when the Mets selected Allan with their third-round draft pick. As has become tradition, I took the day off from work and I was in my kitchen, with a big cup of coffee, ready to go. When Matt Allan’s name was announced, I was a bit confused. “Did they say Matt Allan? Isn’t Matt Allan that highly thought of prep kid? No, there must be another guy named Matt Allan in this draft, what a weird coincidence.” Thirty seconds, or a minute, or whatever, it sunk in. THE Matt Allan. Allan’s selection altered the draft from that point on, with the Mets making money-saving college senior selections from round four until ten, making it the most interesting and exciting draft that I’ve followed to date. I was hoping the Mets would pick Jack Leiter with their first-round pick, somehow buying him out of his Vanderbilt commitment, but Allan is basically Leiter without the surname: looks the part of a starting pitcher, the fastball comfortably lives in the mid-90s, a plus curveball that is both aesthetically pleasing and devastating to hitters, a changeup that flashes being a weapon as well, and plenty of years between now and his theoretical future MLB debut to improve what he already throws and add more to his repertoire. Here’s hoping he avoids the injury bug and his baseball development progresses seamlessly.
Allan is basically my ideal prep-school pitching prospect. He’s got a big frame, a big fastball, and an exceptional curveball that’s already his favorite weapon. Even his change, his weakest offering at present, has potential as a legitimate average or plus pitch. Combine all of that with an advanced feel for pitching (for his age) and the dreams of a front-line starter four or five years down the line write themselves. Of course, there’s nothing riskier than a prep-school pitching prospects, and all those caveats apply here. You take the good with the bad.
The lynchpin of the Mets draft this past season, Matthew Allan did nothing but perform after the Mets managed to sign him. The Mets assigned Allan to the GCL Mets to start his career, and the Mets were impressed enough by his performance to send him to promote him to the Brooklyn Cyclones for their NYPL Championship run. Allan managed to leave his mark during his short stay in Brooklyn, contributing three scoreless innings of relief to help the Cyclones clinch their first championship in team history. I managed to see Allan pitch for the Cyclones at the end of the season, and was probably the best pitcher I saw in 2019. The mechanics are relatively clean, and Allan’s fastball sits comfortably in the mid-90s at present, with potential to reach a little higher as he gets older. He uses two secondary pitches to complement his above average fastball, and easily plus curveball that has all of the makings of a future outpitch, and a changeup that flashes average and has potential for more if he can get the good version of it to show up in games more consistently. Allan is exactly the type of high-end prep pitching prospect that the Mets have not had in the system in recent years, and while there is considerable risk in any prep pitcher’s future outlook, Allan is more advanced than you would think in many ways.
Our highest 2019 draftee on the list slots in here with Matthew Allan, and his play deserves every bit of it. Allan fell to the third round of the 2019 draft due to signability concerns, but the Mets managed to get him under contract and into the organization. He went to the Gulf Coast league where he was dominant in a small sample, allowed a single earned run in 8.1 innings. He got hit around a bit in two innings at Brooklyn, but that shouldn’t condemn him in anyway. He has a solid, repeatable delivery with a durable frame. He throws hard, and he has a good curveball already. In an organization with a dearth of pitching talent in the system, Allan is a very exciting prospect.