Allie's emergence as a South Atlantic League pitching killer in Charleston coincided with the arrival of hitting coach Orlando Merced.
Merced played first base and outfield and was an integral part of the Pirates teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s that were consistently among the best in the National League.
So if anyone should know what a power hitter is supposed to look like, it stands to reason that Merced, who played with Barry Bonds and against many of the ferocious hitters of the steroid era, would have a pretty good idea.
In Allie, Merced sees someone who could be wrecking big-league pitching staffs in the near future.
"He worked very hard in the offseason and prepared himself," Merced said. "Defensively, he's been improving also and he's going to continue to improve on the offensive side of the game as well. He has seen results in a very quick manner."
Allie's ranks third in home runs and is tied for second in RBIs in the Sally League and is helping lead a West Virginia offense that ranks near the top in almost all hitting categories, including leading the league in runs scored.
But perhaps none of this would be possible had Allie taken personally the organization's decision to move him from the mound to the field a couple of years ago.
While it would be easy to view such a move as an act of giving up, Merced said that Allie simply chooses not to look at it that way.
"He doesn't look at the negative side of that where other people may see it," Merced said. "He sees it as a second chance, as another opportunity to show the world that he's a legitimate position player. In my opinion, he's very talented. I see a very consistent big-league player in the near future. I'm pretty sure he sees this as a chance to prove to the Pirates that, 'I'm a legitimate player.'"
Whether Allie can continue to put up such numbers is unknown, but Merced is certain that the physical tools are there.
In fact, in terms of raw power, Merced uttered Mark McGwire's name as a comparison for Allie.
"Well," Allie said before going silent for a moment and chuckling to himself, "that's a good one to resemble, I guess."
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.