The New York Metsâ€™ spring training is underway. Everybody from the teamâ€™s biggest stars to the invited rookies just getting their feet wet and having their first direct contact with a major league camp is getting ready for a new, exciting season.
One of those rookies is pitching prospect Matt Allan. He survived the Metsâ€™ flurry of trades and transactions, as they worked hard to improve their roster and, in some cases, that implied getting rid of talented young players.
Since last summer, Allan has been trying to follow Metsâ€™ ace Jacob deGrom and pick his brain. Thanks to a contact made by catcher Patrick Mazeika, Allan was able to watch deGrom pitch and work alongside the two-time Cy Young winner.
Now, the Mets have paired deGrom and Allan as they look for the latter to learn everything he can from the former. Itâ€™s not a bad idea at all, as Allan is one of the best, if not the best, pitching prospect in the organization.
â€œWe think itâ€™s a great experience,â€ manager Luis Rojas said per MLB.com. â€œWhy not? We have a group of kids here — I call them kids, but … out there on the field, when theyâ€™re showing their abilities, they donâ€™t look like kids. Theyâ€™re like sponges. Theyâ€™re absorbing. And Allanâ€™s one example with Jake.â€
Allan is already impressing the Mets
So far, in the early stages of the Metsâ€™ camp, Allan has impressed with his raw arm talent and determination. Itâ€™s easy to forget that the organization built their entire 2019 draft strategy around the right-hander.
â€œHis poise, his maturity has been impressive,â€ Rojas said. â€œNineteen? He definitely behaves like an older person.â€
Between deGrom and Allan, the ice had been already broken last summer when the two worked together. Now, the latter prepared a long list of questions to ask deGrom.
â€œOne of the big things that he told me was not to overcomplicate things,â€ Allan said. â€œHe said the game became easier for him when he stopped overcomplicating things. â€¦ It started to become easier when he just focused on, â€˜How am I going to attack this guy, and how am I going to get him out?â€™ I think that was a huge conversation.â€
â€œIâ€™ve asked him an array of questions, and heâ€™s always been so good to give me an honest answer and then give me an explanation,â€ Allan said of deGrom. â€œNot just say, like, â€˜This is what I do.â€™ Heâ€™s been really good about saying, â€˜This is what I do, and this is why I do it.â€™â€