D-backs Draft Q&A: Tom Allison
Allison Selected Parker 9th overall last year
Allison Selected Parker 9th overall last year
Senior Editor
Posted May 25, 2008


The June amateur draft is less than two weeks away. In this exclusive interview, Diamondbacks scouting director Tom Allison discusses his draft strategy for this year and reviews how the process went for him last season. (Audio portion is premium content)

Tom Allison oversees all amateur scouting for the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.  People familiar with Moneyball probably have a notion of an obsessively controlling general manager who calls most of the shots during the amateur draft.  That isn't the case with general manager Josh Byrnes and the Arizona Diamondbacks, even though Josh's youth often engenders comparisons to Bill Beane and Theo Epstein, the most famous of the Moneyball-style GMs.

"People don't know Josh," said Allison while denouncing this misconception.  "We lean on each other," he explained, adding that while Byrnes is very involved in all aspects of the organization, he has no qualms about delegating responsibility.

Thus Allison is the man to talk to with regards to the upcoming amateur draft.  Last year was his first as the man fully in charge of a draft.  He spent the 2000-2006 seasons as a scouting cross-checker for the Milwaukee Brewers.  For the 10 years prior, Allison served in various capacities for the New York Mets organization, including Area Scouting Supervisor (1996-1999), Assistant Scouting Director (1995-1996), and as a player and coach in the minor league system from 1990-1994.

I caught up with Allison last week as he was driving to Atlanta to see an undisclosed high school pitcher.  The Chicago White Sox, who pick before the Diamondbacks do this year, also had their scouting director on hand for that game.

In part one of our interview, Allison discusses how the altered college schedule has affected his scouting schedule this year, the strengths and weaknesses of the 2008 draft class, how the organization views fresh amateur pitchers versus those that have logged many innings, the dichotomy between quick movers and raw talents with high ceilings, and the players from the 2007 draft that have particularly impressed him thus far in their pro careers.  Listen to Audio (9:37)

In part two, Allison talks about how he weighs a player's statistics versus the input from his scouts, how Josh Byrnes is willing to delegate responsibility, how the 2007 draft was a learning experience for him, and whether the Diamondbacks' organizational philosophy differs from what the Mets and Brewers emphasized.  Listen to Audio (7:38)

See also: The Scout.com Top 100 Draft Prospects for 2008

Send questions or comments for Keith Glab to future_backs@yahoo.com

Get both magazines by upgrading today!

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to FutureBacks.com? Why not get a lower monthly rate, the special 84-page Scout.com Prospects Guide covering all 30 farm systems, and 56 issues of Sports Illustrated included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

Become an annual subscriber today!



Related Stories
FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 7
 -by DiamondbacksDaily.com  May 26, 2008
Diamondbacks Prospect Profile: Barry Enright
 -by DiamondbacksDaily.com  May 31, 2008
FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 8
 -by DiamondbacksDaily.com  Jun 2, 2008

PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES
> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> MiLB &
   MLB Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from DiamondbacksDaily.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
P Bryan Augenstein (profile)
OF Peter Clifford (profile)
P Josh Ellis (profile)
SP Barry Enright (profile)
1B Mike Mee (profile)
P Jarrod Parker (profile)
SP Wes Roemer (profile)
[View My HotList]