Philippe Aumont

Dave · June 7, 2007 at 12:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

With the 11th pick in the first round pick, the M’s selected Philipee Aumont, an 18-year-old 6’7 RHP from Quebec. Here’s a video of Aumont from the MLB Scouting Bureau, and there’s a brief scouting report on him from the draft tracker page.

He throws a 90-94 MPH fastball that has popped 96 at times, but unlike most prep pitchers, he already has a feel for the two-seam fastball and throws it with heavy sink. Pitching from a downward plane and pounding the bottom half of the strike zone, he’s got all the makings of being an extreme groundball pitcher, and you know how I love groundball pitchers. He also throws a slider and has toyed with a change-up, but both pitches are very raw and he doesn’t command either one particularly well. However, the slider has flashed good movement at times and has the potential to become an out-pitch with more work.

Aumont is extremely inexperienced, as he didn’t have a high school team to pitch for in Quebec. He traveled to showcases in the U.S. to pitch in front of scouts, and the M’s made sure to put a pair of eyes on him everytime they could. They saw Aumont more than any other team, logging tens of thousands of miles to watch him pitch at different events. In the end, they all fell in love. He was rated as the top prep pitching prospect on their board, even ahead of consensus #1 arm Rick Porcello. The team believes he has more upside than any pitcher in the draft due to his projectable frame and feel for the sinker at such a young age.

The popular comparison in recent weeks has been Kevin Brown, though that’s obviously a best case scenario, and putting those kind of expectations on any 18-year-old kid is unfair. However, as a perfect world comparison, it has some merit. That’s the kind of pitcher the M’s would love to see Aumont develop into. By request, here’s three potential career paths for Aumont (ignoring the injury and flameout possibility, which is there for every pitcher), based on his skillset and the careers of similar types of pitchers in the past:

Low End Upside: Aaron Cook, Jason Marquis
Middle Upside: Derek Lowe, Brad Penny
High Upside: Kevin Brown, Chris Carpenter

If you can’t tell, I love this pick. This is the guy I wanted all along, so if my opinion is worth anything (and that’s obviously up to you), then there’s reason for optimism. It was a stretch that he’d fall to #11, but when he did, the M’s had to abandon their pick-for-now philosophy and take the best arm on the board, and that was clearly Philippe Aumont. Welcome to Seattle, kid. We’re glad to have you.


224 Responses to “Philippe Aumont”

  1. bhsmarine on June 7th, 2007 5:47 pm

    Dunnigan doesn’t look to bad from the scouting video. Left handed hitter, looks a little portly for CF but could still have the speed. Uses the opposite field in the video.

  2. david h on June 7th, 2007 5:54 pm

    Kevin Goldstein at BP likes the pick and calls him one of the best athletes in the draft and says that, though raw, he has a higher ceiling than a typical 5th rounder.

  3. Mike Snow on June 7th, 2007 6:05 pm

    Don’t know why he was labeled a center fielder, his Oklahoma bio says he split time between left and right, which is much more in line with his build.

  4. David* on June 7th, 2007 6:12 pm


    “2007 [JUNIOR]:
    All-Big 12 honorable mention by the league’s coaches … Named First Team All-Big by the Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram and Austin American Statesman … Started all but one game for Oklahoma, with 29 starts in left field and 27 in right … Enjoyed his best season as a Sooner as the team’s batting champion with a .352 clip … Also led the the team with 11 home runs, 54 RBIs, 128 total bases, 29 walks and a .584 slugging percentage … Led OU with 25 multi-hit games and ranked second with 12 multi-RBI games … Finished the year on a career-high, 15-game hitting streak … At the end of the regular season, he ranked in the top 10 of eight different offensive categories … Tied a career high with five RBIs against Missouri on May 13 … Hit .357 with six RBIs in the series against the Tigers … Drove in seven runs and was 7-for-11 at the plate in three-game series against Texas A&M … Hit a walk-off home run against Texas Tech on May 19 in the bottom of the tenth inning … Hit .384 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 26 Big 12 games.”

    Boomer! Sooner!

  5. joser on June 7th, 2007 6:23 pm

    As USSM coined the moniker “King Felix,” can “Prince Phillippe” be far behind?

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Once he gets to AAA (and assuming he’s still in the M’s organization), then you can start talking about a nickname. And if he really lives up to everybody’s fervid hopes, I’d suggest “Dauphin” — though that’s probably too literary/foreign/obscure to stick.

  6. joser on June 7th, 2007 6:24 pm

    Also, I was going to make a joke about his past experience pitching in the Quebec Penal League, but it turns out that’s a little too close to reality.

  7. Sammy on June 7th, 2007 6:57 pm

    I don’t see how “Dauphin” is literary… it’s historical.

  8. Regg on June 7th, 2007 6:59 pm

    Le Aumont!

  9. joser on June 7th, 2007 7:00 pm

    True, it’s historical, but I usually think of the title in the context of Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’ so…

  10. David* on June 7th, 2007 7:20 pm

    208, that’d be l’Aumont

  11. Joe Bag o' Doughnuts on June 7th, 2007 7:31 pm

    Besides, there already is a Prince – Prince Fielder.

    (I’d make a joke about there being a queen in Oakland, but one of the mods would remove it.)

  12. dw on June 7th, 2007 7:31 pm

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    And for those that need a reminder, ten years ago this week the M’s took a tall, hard-throwing high school pitcher as their first pick. And there were a lot of expectations for him. Hell of a fastball. Perfect companion to our uber-pitcher of the time, Randy Johnson.

    He’s in culinary school now.

    Let’s hope beyond hope that Aumont isn’t another Ryan Anderson, but we must remember that for every superstar pitching prospect there’s a superstar pitching prospect whose elbow or shoulder derailed his dream.

    Don’t count your Dauphins before they make their major league debut.

  13. colm on June 7th, 2007 7:42 pm

    or Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution.

  14. colm on June 7th, 2007 7:56 pm

    Nobody seems to have referenced this before, but the Aumont pick gets a great write up from Keith Law at ESPN:
    “At 6-foot-6, Aumont is an imposing pitcher. At the same time, though, he is an excellent athlete who is still very crude as a pitcher, but he has the velocity and sink you don’t see very often. I had him going as high as No. 5 to the Orioles, so this is outstanding value for the Mariners. ”

  15. Typical Idiot Fan on June 7th, 2007 8:13 pm

    Well, if Phillipe turns into a strikeout pitcher, we can say he “sacrebleu them down!”.

  16. Jeff Nye on June 7th, 2007 8:37 pm

    Don’t forget we have Princess Willie, too.

  17. Tom on June 7th, 2007 8:52 pm

    #212: Ryan Anderson, aka “The Little Unit”, actually did cross my mind a little bit today. Of course that’s a little bit of a different scenario because under Lou we had mostly veteran teams and also injuries caught up to poor kid. Mainly it was the injuries that did him in.

    Quit honestly for Aumont, and any pitcher for that matter, turning into a successful Major League pitcher requires time, patience, receptiveness to learning, health, being able to accept failure early on, and a little bit of luck. And even if the pitcher does everything right in the minors, there’s still the matter of pitching well enough to stay in the big leagues.

    Certainly I think he has all the talent in the world to be a TOR pitcher and the scouts really had him as a can’t miss in the Top 10. He’ll just need some polishing in the minor leagues.

    My hope is he’ll be ready by the middle of ’09 (2 years) or the beginning of 2010 (2.5 years) to join our pitching staff because of that lively arm of his, but if it takes a little bit longer (like until 2011, 3.5-4 years from now), I can live with it. Just as long as he has the attitude to go along with the talent to succeed in the big leagues, which is something a certain guy on our club named Weaver lacks completely as shown by taking $8.3 million this year to not play for the Seattle Mariners, but to play strictly for Jeff Weaver getting an even more absurd multi-million, multi-year deal later.

  18. Tom on June 7th, 2007 8:54 pm

    #217: Well, at least SOME of the scouts had him as a can’t miss in the Top 10.

  19. msb on June 7th, 2007 10:09 pm

    I’d suggest “Dauphin”


  20. Evan on June 8th, 2007 9:30 am

    I’m all over Dauphin. That’s a great nickname.

  21. joser on June 8th, 2007 10:04 am

    for every superstar pitching prospect there’s a superstar pitching prospect whose elbow or shoulder derailed his dream.

    I’d say it’s more like for every “superstar” pitching prospect there’s five or six superstar pitching prospects who don’t make it for one reason or another — injury most obviously, but lots of other factors can derail a promising career.

    My hope is he’ll be ready by the middle of ‘09 (2 years) or the beginning of 2010 (2.5 years) to join our pitching staff because of that lively arm of his

    Ok, everybody needs to just turn it down a couple of notches. I understand: we all hope the M’s have found a diamond in rough, and we’re all desperate to see the team improve today, or at least soon. But the one doesn’t solve the other. The dude is 18. Two years from now he’ll be 20. Remember what a big deal it was for Felix to be pitching before his 21st birthday? This guy isn’t Felix. (And yeah, Felix debuted before 20. He’s still not Felix). Sure there are HS pitchers who reached the majors at 20 and have seen success — Bonderman, Sabathia, Suppan. But the last guy before Felix to debut for the M’s at age 20? Gil Meche. People thought he had #1 starter stuff too (and before his surgeries, maybe he did). Things happen. Just ask Kerry Wood or Rick Ankiel or Matt Riley. And Aumont is raw. He needs more than just “some polishing.” He’s got a lot of potential, but he has to learn how to throw something other than fastballs — and that’s how guys get hurt. Sure, he may sail through it, picking up pitches and staying healthy, but that’s an awful lot to assume — even if it wasn’t with the M’s, whose track record with injuries in young pitchers doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

    And let’s suppose everyone’s wildest dreams come true, and he turns out to be the second coming of Randy Johnson. Even Randy Johnson wasn’t Randy Johnson for his first couple of years in the bigs.

    I hope he turns out to be everything everyone hopes him to be, but projecting out and talking about the year he arrives (what’s the rest of the team going to look like then? Who will be managing, or coaching, or even owning it?) just gets a little silly.

  22. joser on June 8th, 2007 10:36 am

    A little more from the TO Sun:

    Aumont said every time a team had its turn at the microphone yesterday he was thinking of the players with that team.

    “When it was Seattle’s turn I was thinking of Richie Sexson, a tall guy like me, he and Adrian Beltre,” Aumont said. “When I was young I always liked watching Randy Johnson pitch because of his size.”

    Aumont said he enjoys playing Nintendo, especially Madden Football. Nintendo is the majority owner of the Mariners.

    Maybe they can pay part of his signing bonus in video games. “Welcome to the Mariners! Here, have a Wii.”

  23. The Ancient Mariner on June 9th, 2007 8:58 am

    OK, I’m late to the party–I’ve been out of the loop the last couple days–but to me, as draft news goes, this is right up there with the Sonics landing the #2 pick (those who are basketball fans will understand). I’m with Dave–for the first time in quite a while, the M’s took the guy I wanted–really, the guy I would have wanted even if we’d been picking higher. Yeah, he’s a HS pitcher, so it’s a long road, but this is a guy more than worth the risk. I can’t help hoping, just a little, that we’ll get to see Aumont and Butler in the same rotation in five years or so.

  24. victor1377 on August 30th, 2008 7:42 pm

    phill is an awesome pitcher I seen him play when he was in gatineau (QC)he as the potential to do great things I knew out off all my friends playing baseball he would be the one to take to the next level and i proud of him makin it but also a little jealous because it was always been my dream also anyways best of luck phillipe hope to play against you when day sincerly yours victor gagnon !!!

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