March 31, 2002
2003 1st round draft pick RHP Jeffrey Allison’s #51 jersey still hangs in his otherwise empty locker. Allison has missed all three weeks of spring drills and scrimmages with a team excused absence. The fact that the reason for his absence, while excused, is undisclosed has led to many rumors ranging from everything from family illness to substance abuse, to injury. Neither the Marlins nor Allison’s representation have offered to calm any of the rumors only saying that everything is fine with Jeffrey and his absence is excused.
The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported on Tuesday that Allison has agreed to random drug testing for the next two years as well as a restructuring of his $1.85 million signing bonus.
Allison did make his first appearance at Marlins camp in Jupiter, Florida on Tuesday, March 31st taking a tour of the practice facility and having a meeting with Marlins officials with both his father and his agent present. It is still unclear however when exactly Allison will begin participating in spring drills in the prospect camp.
Heading into the 2003 draft, Allison was considered not only the top high school pitcher in the draft but one of the top three overall prospects. He slid to the Marlins at the 16th spot due to questions as to signability and the inherent risks of paying top dollar to a high school pitching prospect. Jeffrey was considered to have both the best fastball and curveball of any pitcher in the draft. Although he only made 3 appearances in the Gulf Coast Rookie League in 2003 due to a sore shoulder, Allison was considered the most impressive pitcher in the league by scouts after striking out 11 hitters and giving up only 1 run in 9 innings of work.