I'm not sure Billy Beane (or anyone) really figured out how to disrupt amateur scouting though. Except for the part where teams prefer college players now because they can let their desk-bound scouts and analytics guys do more of the decisive work. But that has its downside as well.
According to this story the area scout saw Crawford play 25 times in two years (and did a home visit with him, and then lots of people above him came to see of course). And McFarlane was seen by his area scout for his entire college career (and was also watching Rincones in junior college, it's implied). If the scouts aren't good at their jobs or the Phillies don't know how to evaluate their scouting reports that's obviously a problem but I don't think you can just throw out the value of getting eyes on a player and evaluating their tools and potential and so forth.
Teams also talk big about getting to know the player and evaluating their character but clearly botch that all the time too (most notably over on the football and basketball teams lately).
Also, this, on Mavis Graves, seems fairly fastidious. They were also scouting him long before this (but then he got COVID last year).
I saw him once in the summer, once in the fall, and then four times this spring. Early on, I made it known to Brian (Barber) that I’d like at least another set of eyes on this kid. And he made it happen. He sent Buddy in there. He liked what he saw. The rest is history. We took video of him. We had spin-rate data on him. And Brian was able to piece it together. He liked what he saw. We saw some things in his delivery that perhaps we can help him out with. Namely, incorporating his lower half more. So he’s kind of a blank slate, you know, but it’s 6-4, left-handed with loads of projection. The upside, I think, is exciting.
I like that a lot better than "Pat Gillick liked the kid's swing" (which is how I still imagine the Moniak pick went down).