Two Phillies among MLB.com's Top 50
Brown rated 14th-best prospect; Aumont ranked No. 47
PHILADELPHIA -- It can be a little difficult to keep track of the top prospects in the Phillies' organization these days.
Since July, they have traded pitchers Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco; outfielder Michael Taylor; catchers Travis d'Arnaud and Lou Marson; and infielder Jason Donald. They have acquired pitchers Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies.
Those trades have significantly reshaped the look of the organization.
So who is at the top?
MLB.com announced its Top 50 prospects on MLB Network on Wednesday night and ranked outfielder Domonic Brown 14th and Aumont 47th.
Brown and Aumont are expected to open the season at Double-A Reading. They have been in Philadelphia the past two days for the first Phillies Prospect Education Program at Citizens Bank Park. They joined Gillies, Ramirez, outfielder Anthony Gose and right-hander Trevor May.
Pro scouting coordinator Mike Ondo organized the program, which is similar to those run by other organizations.
"We wanted to bring them into Philly to see the ballpark, introduce them to some people in the organization," Ondo said. "We talked to them about the business of baseball and how players interact with the front office -- how everybody works hand in glove."
They talked about other things, too. Manager Charlie Manuel and second baseman Chase Utley talked to them about what they should expect in the big leagues. Larry Andersen gave them the perspective of a former player who had a long career. Frank Coppenbarger, director of team travel and clubhouse services, talked to the players about travel and clubhouse etiquette. They had leadership training and suggestions for avoiding pitfalls off the field. They got media training. Dick Vermeil spoke about a variety of topics, including the city of Philadelphia, its fans and being a professional.
Brown has tremendous potential, and the Phillies project him to be a big-time corner outfielder. He hit .299 with 21 doubles, nine triples, 14 home runs, 64 RBIs and 23 stolen bases, spending most of the season at Class A Clearwater and Reading. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said this is an important year for Brown. Right fielder Jayson Werth is a free agent after the season, and left fielder Raul Ibanez is a free agent after 2011. If Brown has a big year, it could help the Phillies decide their plans for the future.
"I understand the process," Brown said. "I'm very patient. Before I got drafted, my dad and I always talked about the guys who came up through the Phillies' system. Looking at a guy like [Ryan] Howard and Chase, it took them a while to get to the big leagues. I don't know if it's going to be different for me, even if I'm putting up good numbers. So I'm very patient."
Aumont replaces Drabek as the organization's top pitching prospect. He pitched out of the bullpen last season, but he'll return to the rotation.
Aumont looks forward to the challenge. He also understands there are high expectations for him, Gillies and Ramirez, whom the Phillies acquired from the Seattle Mariners in December for Cliff Lee.
"There's always expectations," Aumont said. "You give up somebody that big, a Cy Young winner. ... I kind of prepare myself for that. I'm working hard every single day to be as good as I can be. I know that's what the Phillies want. And I want to prove to them that this wasn't a mistake."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.