With all of the excitement and press coverage of the Phillies’ recent Cliff Lee deal, it’s easy to forget that we traded him last December in exchange for three prospects.
The three young players, right-handed pitchers Juan Ramirez and Phillippe Aumont and outfielder Tyson Gillies, all spent their entire seasons in the minor leagues last year and each of them have had to overcome adversity in their plight to play in the big leagues.
Ramirez, 22, pitched 13 games last year in Double-A Reading and 11 games in High-A Clearwater. He posted a combined ERA of 4.82, averaging 7.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. He underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be ready for spring training. He is likely to repeat this year in Double-A.
Aumont, 22, was a relief prospect in Seattle before being converted to a starter in Double-A last year. He posted a terrible ERA and K/BB ratio of 7.43 and 38/38, respectively, in eleven starts and was demoted to Single-A. The Phillies have recently announced that Aumont will return to the bullpen in 2011.
Gillies was impressive in spring training last year before a hamstring injury that eventually limited his 2010 campaign to only 26 games. He batted .238 with two home runs and six RBI’s in 105 at-bats in Double-A. In August, Gillies was arrested after police found him shirtless with a bag of cocaine along a highway in Clearwater. He was later cleared of all charges.
The recently released Top 10 Phillies prospects list by Baseball America did not include any of these three players. It is clear that each of them will have to overcome adversity in order to become successful.