Mets sign high-ceiling draftee Matthew Allan

June 28th, 2019

NEW YORK -- All along, the Mets felt confident that they could sign high school pitcher Matthew Allan, a first-round talent that fell to them in the third round in the 2019 MLB Draft. But until Allan passed his physical and put pen to paper on Friday, doubt lingered.

Friday, the Mets were finally able to celebrate. Donning a Mets uniform for the first time, Allan called the experience of signing his first professional contract “unreal.” The Mets see him as the linchpin of their Draft, giving them three top prospects -- along with first-rounder Brett Baty and second-rounder Josh Wolf -- to highlight their future.

“He’s a tremendous high school talent,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “He’s somebody that we really manipulated our entire Draft to try to bring him in the organization, as we look to infuse high-impact, high-end talent into the system.”

Officially, the Mets signed Allan for $2.5 million, according to a source, or roughly four times his slot value as the 89th overall pick. To do so, they exclusively selected four-year college seniors in rounds 4-10, offering those players below-slot bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $20,000. That cleared up enough bonus-pool space to land Allan without having to sacrifice a future first-round Draft pick, as MLB rules impose limits on what each team can spend on its top 10 picks. Allan was committed to the University of Florida, which gave him leverage in negotiations.

“I don’t view it as a risk,” amateur scouting director Marc Tramuta said of centering the Mets’ long-term Draft goals around Allan. “I view it as an opportunity. Any time you go into a Draft, you’re looking for impact. And I think you got impact with those first three picks.”

In Allan, the Mets believe the impact can be a future “No. 1 or No. 2 starter,” as Van Wagenen put it. Heading into the Draft, MLB Pipeline ranked the 18-year-old right-hander 13th among Draft prospects, highlighting his mid-90s fastball and power curveball as standout weapons. Allan also features an average changeup that he is working to turn into a plus third pitch -- a mission that could be the key to his development as an ace.

At Citi Field on Friday with his family, Allan had an opportunity to watch Mets starter -- one of his pitching idols.

“He’s got a big arm,” said Allan’s agent, Scott Boras. “He’ll fall right into the Met tradition of big arms.”

The Mets feel the same, believing Allan and Wolf can anchor their future rotation.

“Ultimately, my goal is to make it to the big leagues, and make it here and stay there,” Allan said. “Once the situation was put in front of me, it was too good to pass up.”