The Pirates are making a major move with a major talent.
The club is converting hard-throwing pitching prospect Stetson Allie into a hitter, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Sunday.
Allie, 21, was selected by the Pirates in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and signed for $2.25 million. Allie, drafted out of St. Edward High in Ohio, could hit 100 mph on the radar gun.
Huntington, who said that the conversion was "recently" made, didn't specify what position Allie would play.
"Stetson was one of the few athletes in each Draft to be considered a prospect as a pitcher and as a hitter," Huntington told the Tribune-Review. "We believed his highest upside was as a pitcher. We obviously were very pleased to sign him as a pitcher. Since then, we've faced some challenges with him as a pitcher."
Allie compiled a 6.58 ERA with 29 walks and 28 strikeouts in 26 innings at Single-A State College last year. This season, pitching for Single-A West Virginia, Allie walked eight batters in two appearances.
After a recent batting-practice session, the Pirates decided to make the switch.
"Through that process, the determination was made that our best next step is to make the conversion full-time to position player," Huntington told the Tribune-Review.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB and read his MLBlog, Youneverknow. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.