thoughts on the Mariners, MLB draft, and more homelinksdraftabout me

Mariners Sign Aumont

Phillipe AumontIt took until the final day, but the Mariners were able to sign their first round pick, Phillipe Aumont. The young Canadian right-hander received a $1.9 million signing bonus, which is just a little bit higher than the suggested amount by Major League Baseball for the 11th pick this year, but right around the suggested amount for the same pick last year. The M's certainly did not break the bank for him like other teams had to do to get their players in the fold (see the Devil Rays, Royals, Cubs, Orioles, and Tigers). It may take a few weeks for Aumont to get a visa, so the chances of him getting in some minor league games before the end of the season are slim.

So, now that Aumont is signed, what exactly are the Mariners getting? At 6'7", 225 pounds, he is a big pitcher, and he already throws in the mid-90s consistently from a 3/4 arm slot, which is especially difficult on right-handed hitters. Scouts say Phillipe also has a slider which has shown flashes of greatness, but he has difficulty keeping on top of it and driving it down through the strike zone thanks to his arm angle. Furthermore, Aumont's mechanics aren't bad, but they are inconsistent, which is to be expected from a 6'7" 18-year-old.

However, there is no denying that the raw talent is there. Despite the noticeable inconsistencies in Aumont's stuff, he has dominated against some pretty good competition. Also, he is athletic and his innings have been limited by the Canadian national team, both factors that greatly reduce his injury risk as a professional.

I'll never be a big fan of drafting high-schoolers (especially pitchers) with high draft picks because the statistics show that they pan out at a much lower frequency than college players, but with that being said Phillipe Aumont is a high-schooler worth taking a risk on. The biggest trouble with prep pitchers is that many develop arm problems working their way through the minors, and the main causes seem to be a lack of athleticism and overuse at too young of an age, two things that won't be a concern with Aumont. His fastball alone should be enough to get him to the majors some day, but if he refines his delivery and develops that slider further, or some other off-speed pitch, then the Mariners should really have something on their hands.