Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jeff Allison Update

You may recall how we at The South Florida Fan (TSFF) endorsed the comeback of Jeff Allison. You can read about it here.

Well, we haven't forgotten about him. His spirited attempt to straighten out his life has come with its share of pros and cons.

The good: He has been making regular starts with the Jupiter Hammerheads.

The bad: He hasn't been all that effective.

I'm not sure why he's struggling so much in Single A, but maybe it will take him some time to regain his confidence, maximize his talents. Let's break down his stats:

In 13 games, he has compiled a 3-6 record with a 4.75 ERA and a 35-34 K/BB ratio. His last four starts have been especially poor, as he surrendered 5, 4, 5, 6 earned runs respectively, the last in just 1 2/3 innings of work.

This is fairly disappointing, but don't be too alarmed. In all likelihood, he's developing lesser pitches, battling mental hurdles, and rediscovering his self confidence. Of course, I would prefer to see some better performances, but keep your hope alive. I know we're pulling for him.


Mary S said...

From a fellow Peabodyite, all I can say is take it one day at a time Jeff, your health and well-being are the most important things. Hang in there, your skills will come back to you.

Anonymous said...

from his loving girlfriend...
I am such a lucky girl to have been blessed with someone like this in my life. He has a huge heart along with an incredible talent. His success in life has just begun.

Anonymous said...

So, I'm watching the Home Run Derby and Josh Hamilton is Killing the ball, and it made me think of Jeff Allison. So, I wanted to see where he was and I came across this page. Then, Peter Gammons just mentioned Jeff. It was awesome! I hope Jeff makes it, and if he doesn't, I hope that he continues to be clean and be happy!

Anonymous said...

Watching the home run derby too. Coming from a recovering heroin addict, you can do it jeff.

Anonymous said...

Also watching the Derby - - Amazing how Hamilton can hit a ball...As a die hard Fish fan, I look forward to to seeing Jeff throw a ball at an All-Star game one day.

Anonymous said...

Watching the Derby also. I think I'll go see Jeff make his next start for the Jupiter Hammerheads. Good luck, Jeff!!

Ted G said...

Also a fellow Peabodyite...

I hope that during these struggles he remembers that what he is is not wrapped up in baseball. His worth as a person is much more than the game and he's able to take the struggles on the mound in stride.

I'll be following his career from here in the Twin Cities, but I mostly just wish him the best in keeping his life on track.

Catlady43 said...

Our family is also from Peabody and have been following Jeff's career since high school. We wish you much success in your life, keep up the good work! We're pulling for you all the way!

Anonymous said...

I saw Jeff play in high school final against St Johns at alumni field in Lowell. He was on top of his game that day but with hard work I am sure he can get back to that

Anonymous said...

i became very close to jeff this year and he is truly an amazing person...everyone in peabody always talked bad about him but i always saw something special in him..i always believed in him and pray for him everyday..i kno he can make it...

Will E said...

JEff and I were in treatment together and he is one of the most all around nice guys you will ever meet . He loves baseball like I everybody else loves the air we breathe. I love you bro hang tough! WIll

Anonymous said...

I watched him play VS Everett when he was a junior and he was the best baseball player I've ever seen , He threw I believe a no hitter and hit a game winning home run on top of it...good luck Jeff we're all rooting for you

Anonymous said...

sorry thats a 1 hitter, not a no no but still as good

Samuel said...

How hard is he throwing? He is clearly not overpowering in single A right now. Curious.....

Anonymous said...

He's Baaaaack !! He's kicking it in single A. ERA under 2 and tons of K's. as of may 10th 09.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Allison's battles with drug addiction have been well-chronicled.

Now the former first-round Draft pick is hoping his exploits on the mound become the focus of everyone's attention.

"I feel a lot more comfortable and have the edge I used to have," Allison said. "Being in this league last year, I have a really good feel. Every time I go out I can put up decent numbers and put our team in a position to win."

Allison proved as much Wednesday night at Tradition Field, continuing his comeback by recording a season-high eight strikeouts over six one-hit innings in the Jupiter Hammerheads' 2-1, 14-inning loss to the St. Lucie Mets.

"For me tonight, I had to mix in every pitch in my arsenal in the first inning," he said. "It worked really well for me."

Selected 16th overall by the Marlins in 2003 as a can't-miss high school phenom out of Peabody, Mass., Allison appeared to have the stuff that would hasten his journey to the Majors. But drug addiction, coupled with suspensions and other off-the-field transgressions, nearly cost him his career.

After going 5-4 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 starts at Class A Greensboro during his first comeback attempt in 2005, Allison sat out the next two campaigns while trying to get his life back together.

"I don't know how important [my past] is, honestly," he said. "Everybody has their own opinions. There are different Web sites with people writing about me in a really negative way.

"I learned a long time ago to just ignore it. It is important that people do see what I'm doing in baseball again and that I can make it in baseball. And some day, I will. That's everybody's ultimate dream."

In 2008, the 24-year-old right-hander finally got through a full season in the Minors, going 9-8 with a 5.22 ERA in 26 games, including 25 starts. Ironically, Wednesday was almost a year to the day that Allison tossed six one-hit frames against Brevard County.

"I remember that game," Allison said. "Like tonight, it's all about control, throwing first-pitch strikes, getting ahead in the count and then going right them. I try to throw everything I have at them but preserving energy at the same time."

So far in 2009, Allison appears to be in line for a promotion. He has allowed only three earned runs on 15 hits and five walks with 16 strikeouts over 21 2/3 innings in four outings for a 1.25 ERA -- good for sixth in the Florida State League.

"[Getting promoted) is not up to me," Allison said. "The only thing I can do is go out and perform every single night. I'll perform wherever they want to put me."

The former FSL All-Star was at his best Wednesday, retiring 10 in a row after starting the game by walking Greg Veloz. A one-out single by Ike Davis in the fourth was the lone hit against Allison, who proceeded to strike out Reese Havens and get Francisco Pena to fly out to center field.

Allison fanned two more in a 1-2-3 fifth before walking Veloz again with one out in the sixth. Veloz stole second with two out but was stranded when Allison caught Davis looking at a third strike with his 80th and final pitch of the night.

"I finished up strong. I really enjoyed it so much tonight," he added. "I have that energy and focus back."

Brett Harker followed with two one-hit frames before Andrew Battisto squandered Allison's bid for a win by surrendering Francisco Pena's sacrifice fly in the ninth, forging a 1-1 deadlock.

After Battisto worked a scoreless 10th, Brad Stone struck out three over three hitless innings but wore down in the bottom of the 14th. Davis singled with two outs and scored on Haven's fifth double of the year as the Mets took the rubber game of the three-game set.

John Torenli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Comments
1 Comments at 10:12 AM - View All » Post a Comment
Report item as: (required) X
Obscenity/vulgarity Hate speech Personal attack Advertising/Spam Copyright/Plagiarism Other
Comment: (optional)
mb77 wrote:
Happy to see this kid getting his life together, and do what he's doing! I can't wait to see him in a Marlins uniform, and hope that he's in our starting rotation in the next couple of seasons, and when we open up our new park hey he could end up being one of our top starters by then. He has ACE kind of stuff, and always had it... Now he has his head clear, and his mind is set on the right things. This is about the best feel good story as you could have in the game today! Prospect is taken in the draft as a can't miss pitcher, and his life is derailed due to personal addictions, and he gets himself thrown out of baseball all together, and ends up cleaning up his act, and getting his life together, and is now back to being that prospect that everyone thought he would be. I can't wait, and I wish him the best of luck! I hope Jeffery Allison is one of our starters soon... This kid has fought all the odds, and he's making it, and those sites with negative stuff on him should all go to H3LL!
4/30/2009 11:07:57 AM
Report Abuse

benjamin said...

I see that Jeff has made the 2009 FSL All-Star game. He's pitched well this season and should see a promotion to AA Jacksonville in the coming weeks. I've gone to every home game he has pitched for Jupiter this season (with the exception of one that started at 10:30am)and he looks to be in great shape, his velocity is much improved over last season, and the arsenal of pitches is back. He's attacking--not nibbling like last season. There is a confidence, and a professional composure on the mound. I've had several opportunities to talk with Jeff and he is well aware of his situation in relation to baseball. "24 years old in high A ball isin't a prospect anymore, but I'm fresh. A few years off will do that to you, you know? I've spent a lot of time working on goals in my personal life these pat few years, but now I have a clear path and timeline for what I need to accomplish professionally. There are a lot of people out there that are counting me out, but I'm gonna prove them wrong because I need to prove myself right. I've become humble--less arragont if you will, but I know I can be the best. The only thing that's held me back these last few years was me, so its time to start proving some people wrong, and for that matter proving some people right. I was a first round pick you know." Good luck Jeff!