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ProspectNation 2011: #13 Phillippe Aumont- RHP

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, January 31, 2011 03:30 PM | Comments: 11
2011 Top 25 Prospects, Fightins, Minor Leagues, Posts, Prospecting

Phillippe Aumont, the second prospect acquired from the Mariners for pitcher Cliff Lee last off-season to appear on this countdown, is back in a position more comfortable to him after experiencing some hiccups in his progress during the 2010 season. Upon joining the Phillies organization, higher ups decided to move the young reliever into a starting role. Aumont struggled as a starting pitcher during his first season in the Philadelphia system, but remains a talented pitcher worthy of consideration as an excellent prospect.

A first round draft choice (11th overall) by Seattle in the 2007 amateur draft, Aumont was a highly regarded hurler when he was traded to Philadelphia in 2009.

In 2008, his first season as a professional, Aumont appeared in 15 games, 8 of which were starts, posting a 4-4 record with a 2.75 ERA and 50 strike outs in 55 2/3 innings in the Class A Midwest League. The following season, Aumont appeared exclusively as a reliever in High A and Double A, going 2-6 with a 3.88 ERA, 16 saves and 59 strike outs in 51 innings. Both seasons were shortened by injuries as he landed on the disabled list twice in 2008 with elbow soreness and missed time in 2009 after breaking his hand when he punched a wall following a blown save.

Also in 2009, Aumont pitched for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, retiring MLB All-stars David Wright, Kevin Youkilis and Curtis Granderson, in order, to escape a jam in a game against Team USA.

In Aumont’s first season with the Phillies organization, he went 1-6 with a 7.43 ERA as a 21-year-old in 11 starts with Double A Reading, before being demoted to High A Clearwater, where he improved his numbers a bit, going 2-5 with a 4.48 ERA. With Clearwater, 10 of Aumont’s 16 appearances were as a starter.

The silver lining of Aumont’s bust of a season in 2010, when he posted a 3-11 record and a 5.68 ERA in 27 combined games between two levels, was that he pitched more innings that season (122) than he had in his previous two seasons (106 2/3) as a professional. That gave Aumont plenty of time to work on his pitches and provided the Phillies with significant opportunities to see their highly touted prospect in action. Philadelphia’s clear decision to return the Quebec native, Aumont, to the bullpen was a direct product of his struggles, so if he achieves success at higher levels as a reliever, the rough 2010 season will have been well worth it.

The 6’7″, 255 pound right-hander certainly has the size that could intimidate opposing hitters. He has a pitch repertoire that includes a 4-seam fastball that is regularly clocked in the mid-to-high 90′s and a plus “slurve” that has very good movement. Aumont also mixes in a change up that rounds out his arsenal of weapons. However, if Aumont sticks to a relief role, it is likely that he could focus on using his two best pitches exclusively, as he wouldn’t regularly face batters more than once a game. Some of Major League Baseball’s best closers are solid examples of success with a two-pitch selection.

Thanks to Aumont, and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., fans were introduced to brand new baseball speak after the 2010 regular season, when Amaro told me, of Aumont, “We don’t judge (his) abilities necessarily by performance, but (instead) by progress and he’s still a young kid. Prospects sometimes take a long time. The pudding has not been made yet, so it’s really a matter of time for (him) to continue to develop. We still believe in him to be a fine prospect.”

So, consider Aumont “a pudding prospect”, whose consistency hasn’t quite developed yet, but is capable of becoming a gratifying home made treat, once given the proper allotment of time to refine.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor. You can check out more from Jay on his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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About Jay Floyd

Jay Floyd has written 565 articles on Phillies Nation.

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation's minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 38 GoPhils

    Avatar of GoPhils

    I like how fair these characterizations are. Unfortunately, because of the dismay over the trade of Lee, the three guys we got in return were put under a microscope and saddled with unreasonable expectations. A prominent Phils analyst had the temerity to refer to these three players as “bodies”. It is easy to criticize them for their numbers, but the tools are surely there. Anyone with a fastball close to 100 and a curve that BA ranked the best in the system seems like someone with very obvious major league potential. Buried in last year’s numbers as well was a no-hit bid and I think more than a strikeout per inning. I think the removal of expectations that they replace Lee (since he is back), a shift to a more comfortable role, comfort with the new organization and full recovery of health will make for breakout seasons for these players in 2011. They are, aside from Brown, our only elite prospects that are fairly close to contributing at the major league level. I think it made a lot of sense, in spite of the media craze, to try to offset the huge hit the farm system took when they traded the likes of Carrasco, Knapp and Drabek.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Go Phils, fair assessment. Everything pertaining to those three was put under a microscope, fairly or unfairly. This is a big year for each of them.

     
  • Posts: 283 Jay Floyd

    Avatar of Jay Floyd

    I am confident that the Seattle 3 will have big season in the system for the Phils this year.

    With Gillies healthy, he’ll be able to show what he is capable of. For Ramirez it’s just a matter of stringing together those solid outings. And with Aumont, if he’s in his ideal role, things should be easier for him.

    Stay tuned to the rankings here to see where Gillies pops up.

     
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    Jay – A “slurve”? Oh no. You mean he doesn’t have a curveball? To me, a “slurve” is a mix between a slider and a curve and breaks away from the hitter (righty) ore than down. And they are generally slow. So if he has a slow “slurve” and a change up and a mid 90′s fastball and his arm motion isn’t the same for all three (see Cole Hamels) than I would imagine that he would have trouble. Time for a cutter or a split, I say. Something that comes in looking like a fastball and then does something.

     
  • Posts: 2919 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    If this kid has a good year…..which wouldn’t surprise me at all now that he can focus on being a reliever…. then all the people that were calling for Ruben’s head after “THE TRADE” need to own up to the fact that they just might have been wrong. Plus Gillies and Ramirez could and should improve as well as Jay says.

    In my opinion, all it takes is for one of these guys to contribute significantly at some point in their careers….and this trade will have been validated.

    It was way to early to criticize the trade a year ago….and it’s still way too early to pass judgement now.

     
  • Posts: 93 Ted Bell

    Avatar of Ted Bell

    We really don’t know what the Phillies would have done in 2010 if they had simply kept Cliff Lee in the first place. Despite the spin that RAJ likes to put on that deal, Lee was signed at a bargain price last year and nobody actually knows if any of the “Seattle Three” will ever contribute at the big league level.

    I don’t buy the premise that ownership couldn’t scrape up an extra $9 million last year to keep Lee – especially after the payroll escalated even higher this year and they shelled out $10 million for a new HD scoreboard.

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
    • Posts: 1183 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Exactly.

      Anyway, I said that this would be a “make or break” season for Aumont and people here said “no way.” But if you look at his not-so good numbers in the past couple years, and you add to that a poor 2011… then I would assume he would lose a lot of value as far as prospects go, and our hopes of him contributing to this team would be virtually nonexistent.

      I’m still hoping that he can put it all together as a reliever and be able to take over a late-inning role with the big team in the near future.

       
  • Posts: 147 Don M

    Avatar of Don M

    I don’t know that the Phillies really care what his value as a prospect is right now – he’s more of a PROJECT than a PROSPECT, because of the two role changes..

    He’s still so young, and so raw that he’s got at least 2-3 seasons of development before they need to really worry about him. He’s said to like the relief role a lot more, he feels more comfortable doing that .. As for the SLURVE, I would like to see him go with just a SLIDER – which I think I’ve read from MLB hitters that its the single most difficult pitch to Pick-Up with the Eye??

     
  • Posts: 2919 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    They couldn’t scrape up the $9M last year because the attitude was different. I really believe that the Phillies ownership has taken a looooonnnnnggg time to realize just what they have here….and that Philadelphia isn’t small-market anymore. That’s why this offseason is different. I think Monty and Co have changed their thinking a bit. That’s a good thing, right??

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I like Aumont… he’s only 22 years old so he has time. THE LeRoy Halladay didn’t hit his stride until he was 24/25 and his struggles early on are well documented. I think that switching him to RP is ok for now but it would be nice to see if they could stretch him out…

     
  • Posts: 45 JakeyJ

    Avatar of JakeyJ

    I can think of nothing that would boost Ruben’s front office genius status more than even just one of the Lee three prospects turning out legit. Getting good starting rotation years out of Lee while Aumont develops into solid bullpen help almost sounds too good to be true. It’s possible I guess.

     
 
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