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Prospect Nation 2012: #4 RHP Phillippe Aumont

Righty hurler Phillippe Aumont is the third prospect that the Phillies acquired in the December 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle to appear on this countdown. Upon joining the Phillies, organizational brass chose to switch the young reliever into a starting pitcher. Aumont would go on to struggle in that role, during his first season in the Philadelphia system, but has since gotten himself back on track in the bullpen, where he is most comfortable.

A first round draft choice (11th overall) by Seattle in 2007, Aumont was a highly regarded hurler when he was traded to Philadelphia. In two seasons in the Mariners' system, Aumont tallied a 6-10 record, a 3.29 ERA and 18 saves in 59 games (8 starts). He also represented Seattle in the 2008 MLB All-Star Futures Game, although he did not appear in the exhibition.

In 2009, Aumont, who was a member of the Junior National Team for Canada in his teen years, pitched for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. In one WBC outing, Aumont would retire MLB All-Stars David Wright, Kevin Youkilis and Curtis Granderson, in order, to escape a jam in a game against Team USA.

A native of Quebec, Aumont began his first season in the Phillies organization with Double-A Reading, in 2010, and posted a 1-6 record with an awful 7.43 ERA in 11 starts before being demoted to Class A Advanced Clearwater, where things began to look up. The Phillies would eventually move Aumont back to his more familiar role as a reliever.

Locked into a relief spot in 2011, Aumont shined, holding opponents to a .216 batting average and posting a 2-5 record, a 2.68 ERA and 7 saves in 43 games for Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. A power pitcher, Aumont saw his strike out numbers soar last season, as he averaged 13.08 K's per 9 innings last year.

Aumont, 23, is an imposing figure that overpowers the competition not just physically, but with his intensity as well. The 6-foot-7-inch 255-pounder sports a four-seam fastball that is regularly clocked from 96-98 MPH. Aumont's repertoire also includes a strong curveball, a sinker and an impressive split, all of which give him the type of focus and swagger that should translate well as he continues to ascend up the developmental ladder.

Along with the Phillies in big league spring training this year, Aumont, who thrives on pressure in crucial situations, will get the opportunity to turn heads as he is sure to capitalize on chances to face some big league competition and show how aggressive and fierce he can be.

Expect Aumont, who was added to the Phillies' 40-man roster this past off-season, to make his Major League debut during the 2012 season. With the goods to become a key contributor at the back end of the Phillies' bullpen, Aumont could be setting up for closer Jonathan Papelbon before too long.

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Our 2012 prospect countdown index can be found HERE.

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