Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/5/12

The Pirates have been Major League Baseball's biggest spender in the draft the last half-decade, but not much of that has paid off.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Monday that Stetson Allie, the flame-throwing right-hander the team paid $2.2 million as a 2010 second-rounder, is being converted from pitcher to hitter. The news stunned the baseball industry, not only because such moves are rare with early round players, but also because Allie had pitched only 27 professional innings.

Allie, 22, will now play third base, the position he primarily played at St. Edward High School near Cleveland. At the time of his drafting, some teams viewed him as a position player worth a pick in the third through fifth rounds.

"Stetson was one of the few athletes in each draft to be considered a prospect as a pitcher and as a hitter," GM Neal Huntington said. "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."

In 15 appearances last season for Class A short-season State College, Allie had a 6.58 ERA while striking out 28 and walking 29 in 26 innings. This season, he made only two appearances for Class A West Virginia and walked eight while recording two total outs. After the last appearance April 20, he was removed from action to try to refine his delivery.

An analysis by Baseball America showed that, of the 12 players the Pirates have paid well-above-slot bonuses beyond the first round in the last four drafts, only one -- Class AA outfielder Robbie Grossman -- has performed well.

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