Aumont Seattle-bound

No. 11 overall pick Phillippe Aumont has agreed to terms with the Seattle Mariners. The bonus is for $1.9 million. The Canadian right-hander will receive 100K less than No. 10 pick Madison Bumgarner and about 200K above the suggested 2007 slot — more or less what the estimated slot was in 2006.

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Sign Them Up!

Here’s a great MLB franchise philosophy: Spend millions of dollars on player development to identify prospects, produce major leaguers, and categorize our investment in amateurs. Then, allow player agents to convince us to sign our number one draft selection and give him a major league contract with a $7,000,000 signing bonus. Add to that mix, the justification that the player agent, who has no stake whatsoever in the baseball team, predicts that his client will be a major leaguer in a year or two.

Why do teams ignore versus rely on their development system and organization scouting departments? Why do they ignore the commissioner’s office attempts to “slot” draft money that’s been out of control? What’s more, how can this lack of attention and discount continue amid clear evidence of the worst amateur draft deal in history, the fiasco of Todd Van Poppel. Since then, everything has been out of control.

To speak of the decline in minor league talent is to acknowledge the lack of organization development in professional baseball. It can’t always hide behind the gorgeous minor league facilities or the under the “blanket money” some general managers use out of desperation to be competitive.

Can we teach some of our front office staff an elementary, but fundamental lesson? Can we provide some guidance to uncover some of the failures in conjunction with the investment of development? Let’s being with a simple tutorial. 2+2=4, 3+3=6, and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Taking the next leap in simplicity are the following conventions:

#1 A drafted amateur serving at least three years of time in the major leagues is considered a successfully drafted player by MLB franchise standards. Note: most players are not in this category.

#2 A prospect is a potential major league player.

#3 Prospects are developed by MLB organizations.

#4 All professionals are not prospects…(they need to be developed).

#5 Amateurs are not professionals therefore they cannot be prospects – Capiche?

#6 Amateurs are graded and combined in a formula of OFP (overall future potential), then projected to be a possible prospect.

Follow this lesson so far?

As a result, franchises draft amateur talent attempting to develop the probable prospects and create major league players. At that time, some general managers then listen to the non-expert/non-baseball player agents, and sign amateurs players to major league contracts before they have experienced a single day of development.

How can this be?

The answers are:

A) Teams cannot develop their talent as well as they used to – ridiculous as it may seem, some agents train their clients because the organization and multi-million dollar franchise front offices have opposing views on the fundamental belief of player development.

B) They cut side deals with player agents.

C) And finally, the most obvious reason – they are outplayed, out-worked, and outsmarted by the player agents.

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