So, yeah, today is Draft Day 2007, and the first couple rounds have already gone by. The Mariners first-round pick is a super-tall (6'7") right-handed pitcher from Quebec named Phillippe Aumont, who will undoubtedly confuse the press for ages when trying to figure out how many L's and P's are in his name.
Mariners draft Canadian Phenom [mariners.com]
Phillippe Aumont Draft Bio [minorleaguebaseball.com]
Phillippe Aumont [USS Mariner]
2007 Draft Spotlight: Phillippe Aumont [interview on Baseball Analysts]
Aumont [Lookout Landing]
Big kid... big dreams [Ottawa Sun]
Teams throw heat at prospect [Slam! Sports]
I was working from home this morning while waiting for a package to arrive, so I managed to watch a little bit of the draft coverage on ESPN, up to the Mariners' pick. When they selected Aumont, I actually yelled "YEAH!" at the screen, mostly because I was glad they took one of the only top picks I was somewhat familiar with. I'd read up on Aumont a little bit for two reasons; one, because he was the M's pick in the mock draft Conor Glassey was in, and two, because... well, because he's a super-tall Canadian boy with brown hair and high socks. He definitely seems like an interesting person if nothing else, and as a high school pitcher with no high school team (he pitches in showcases and on the Canadian National Team), he'll definitely be a project for the next few years to turn raw talent into major-league pitching.
His short interview on the ESPN coverage was sort of strange; it's pretty obvious English isn't his first language, and his accent sort of reminds me of a friend of mine from Quebec. He didn't seem too excited about the Mariners, but my guess is that it was a combination of the language and of the effort to stay calm through such an event overall. Personally, the funniest part was probably when he went up to pose for a picture with Bud Selig, and just TOWERED over the man:
(picture from mlb.com)
I don't think I really have anything useful to add to what those other excellent sites linked above have said. It's interesting how the M's didn't really draft pitchers in the first few rounds for a couple of years, then went pitching-heavy with the draft last year and then took a pitcher in the first round this year as well. We'll have to see how they fill out the rest of the draft -- and then go up to Everett to see the kids play in a few weeks, hopefully!