"We understand we're kind of considered the guys," said
Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in the Draft. "I've known
[Allie] for a while, but we've become really close over the
past few months. A lot of guys from the Draft have gotten
really close. He's here every day, I might as well like
The relationship began during the summer of 2009 when both
were making the showcase circuit tour. Both right-handers
participated in the Under Armour All-American Game at
Wrigley Field and the AFLAC All-American Game at PETCO Park.
There's no doubt the Pirates are thrilled the duo has forged a strong bond already, and no one would complain if
the two rose up through the system together.
"We set that tone, sending them to State College together,
to get a feel for what Minor League baseball was about, to
get indoctrinated that way," said Pirates farm director Kyle
Stark, noting that neither Taillon nor Allie actually
pitched with State College. "Then, to bring them here to
submerse them in our program and philosophy, it's been good.
The more we can talk about those types of things, the better
Taillon and Allie, not to mention the other high schoolers
in the Draft and 16-year-old recent signee Luis Heredia of Mexico, have all been down in
Bradenton getting to know each other as well as how the
Pirates expect their players to handle their business.
"It's a relief just to go out there and be one of the guys,
get into the routine again. During the summer, I didn't
throw at all."
"It's been great," Allie added. "Playing every day has been
fun. The atmosphere is great. I'm finally getting to do what
I've been waiting for my whole life."
Taillon and Allie have become close to inseparable, acting
both as support and critic for each other. If this start is
any indication, there's little question both will push each
other to fulfill the potential both were evaluated as having
entering the Draft.
"We've been throwing partners," Taillon said. "We're good
friends and we keep pushing each other."
"We're always throwing with each other, critiquing things
about each other," Allie added. "We are good friends, but
when we're between the lines, we're all business and try to
help each other."
And they already know each other's games. Taillon is quick to point out that Allie, who gained a reputation for his triple-digit fastball, is more than just a thrower, giving his teammate credit for good overall stuff, the ability to command his fastball and his tremendous attitude. Allie gives Taillon points for pounding the strike zone and having the best breaking ball he's ever seen.
The mutual admiration society will continue during the offseason. Taillon headed home to the Houston area following instructs. After taking a little time off, he'll start workouts in earnest. But he won't be alone. Not only will he be alongside other prospects like the Cardinals' Shelby Miller, Allie will head to Texas after a little time at home in Ohio. Could the pair get a little weary of the constant company? Allie assures that's not a concern at all.
"It's baseball and we both love it," he said. "I don't think we can get sick of each other."