For a kid that was in low A this time last year, Zach McAllister's rise through the system hasn't been quite a fast as his future teammates Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain, but meteoric nonetheless.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander made a pair of starts for the Thunder last week, and was 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched. He also struck out a combined 15 batters in the two starts. McAllister made his first appearance of the week last Tuesday at New Britain, and pitched seven shutout innings to earn the victory in Trenton's 11-0 win. He gave up just four hits and two walks and struck out five Rock Cats hitters in the win.
McAllister has a record of 4-2 in nine starts for the Thunder this season, and is currently ranked third in the league in ERA (1.84). In 2008, McAllister appeared in 25 combined games between Charleston (Low-A) and Tampa (High-A), and posted a combined 14-9 record with a 2.09 ERA. He struck out 115 in 151 innings on the season. The former All-State pitcher at Illinois Valley Central High School was selected by the New York Yankees in the 3rd round of the 2006 draft.
Newly 21, McAllister has a chance to get himself up to AAA with weeks like this, and has emerged as an outside chance to see a September call-up to the Bronx.