The week leading up to the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft was kind of slow for Nick Allgeyer.
“It was like, ‘Can we just get there?’” said Allgeyer, a 2014 St. John Vianney High School grad.
Allgeyer, a left-handed pitcher who recently finished up his redshirt-junior season at the University of Iowa, figured he wasn’t going to get picked on the first day of the Draft, June 4, but was hopeful to see his name the following day, when the third through 10th rounds were selected.
“I kind of sat through and was watching the Draft the whole time, seeing what was going on,” Allgeyer said. “That was a really long day.”
He didn’t have to wait as long the next day, Wednesday, June 6.
Allgeyer was with his dad, Ken, a 1986 Vianney alum who was inducted into the Vianney Hall of Fame in 2000. Nick was watching one of his favorite shows, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ on his computer when he finally saw what he had been waiting for.
“I think it happened 30 minutes after the Draft started,” he said. “That was pretty quick. Then I got a call probably five minutes after I saw my name pop up and they told me I’m flying out on Friday.”
Allgeyer was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 12th round, pick No. 356 overall, and before long he agreed to a signing bonus of $125,000 to turn pro and forgo his final season of eligibility at Iowa.
Within a few days he will join the Blue Jays’ short-season Single-A team, the Vancouver Canadians, as they open the season with a five-game series in Eugene, Oregon.
“It’s moved pretty quick,” he said.
Allgeyer put himself in this position with a strong season at Iowa this spring after missing the previous season after having Tommy John surgery.
After pitching out of the bullpen in his first two seasons and then missing the 2017 campaign, the lefthander emerged as one of the best starting pitchers in the Big Ten Conference as a junior. He went 5-4 with a 2.41 earned-run average and struck out 95 batters in 97 innings. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.
“I knew there was draft potential going into the season, but obviously coming off Tommy John and not being a starter in college, I didn’t know how well I would perform,” Allgeyer said. “I kind of just took it game by game, day by day, try go get better each day. I didn’t really look at the big picture. It was kind of a day-by-day type thing; try to work on mechanics and trying to work on velocity every day. The season went as well as it could have gone, probably.”
Now, Allgeyer is a professional baseball player getting a chance to live out his baseball dreams. He’s gotten a taste of the big league life while working out in Florida since he was drafted.
“It’s kind of cool right now here because a lot of the big-name players are doing rehabbing,” Allgeyer said. “I’m standing outside the cage and (Troy) Tulowitzki is hitting. (Marcus) Stroman’s been in here. (Josh) Donaldson’s been in here. Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s been in here. It’s kind of cool this week.”
Allgeyer has fond memories of his time at Vianney.
He was a three-sport standout for the Griffins, excelling in baseball, football and hockey. He was an academic standout as well, a National Honor Society member who graduated summa cum laude.
What does he remember from his high school years?
“School-wise and experience, it was second to none,” Allgeyer said. “I still talk to all my boys from high school about how we wish we could go back for a semester. I loved it. I had the time of my life there.”
“Baseball-wise, I thought Coach (Scott) Brown was very good with preparing me for the next level, preparing me for what Iowa was going to have for me. I think he’s a really good coach and obviously he knows a lot about the game. He played at the next level. He was really helpful for me.”