CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In his first visit to Appalachian Power Park four years ago, Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington addressed a press conference to announce the West Virginia Power as the Pirates' newest farm club.
Until Friday night, he hadn't been back to the Charleston ballpark and regrets the lengthy hiatus.
"I'm embarrassed to admit it,'' Huntington said Sunday afternoon at APP.
Though the Lexington Legends scored six first-inning runs and routed the Power 12-5, Huntington seemed to enjoy the sights, including Stetson Allie's continuing ability to hit with authority to all fields, an attribute that always pleases the baseball hierarchy and is vital to player development.
Allie, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound first baseman, pulled a home run to left on Saturday and stroked an opposite-field blast onto Morris Street beyond right center on Sunday.
In addition, Allie slapped a single to right and launched a double into the left-field corner on Sunday, boosting his average to .314 and his RBI and home run totals to 32 and 10, respectively.
Allie's all-fields approach bodes well, especially for a guy who started his pro career as a pitcher and is playing his first season as a position player.
"An impressive skill in any hitter, let alone a young hitter, is the ability to drive the ball to the opposite-field gap and especially to hit a home run,'' said Huntington. "To hit a home run to the opposite field, it has to be a good swing. The key to a good hitter is the ability to use the middle of the field with authority. Most good hitters stay through the middle of the diamond and try to hit the ball gap to gap.''
The 22-year-old Allie knows what it takes to succeed.
"When I start swinging at pitches inside is when I start struggling,'' he said. "When I swing middle, middle-away is when I'm at my best.''