Armed and waiting

Phillippe Aumont might be the fifth Canadian selected in the first round of the MLB draft today....

Phillippe Aumont might be the fifth Canadian selected in the first round of the MLB draft today. (Sun File)

BOB ELLIOTT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:31 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- Phillippe Aumont will have no problem getting a date for the prom.

The 18-year-old right-hander from Gatineau, Que., could be selected as high as fifth overall today during baseball's annual June draft of high schoolers and collegians -- the first-round selection of the Baltimore Orioles.

Aumont had an impressive workout at Camden Yards this past week.

Or, he could go sixth to the Washington Nationals, who need help in the worst way. And while one would think the Nationals would choose the college path, they like the 6-foot-7 Canadian with the 96-m.p.h. fastball.

JOINING JEFF?

Or, Aumont could be selected eighth in the hopes of joining Jeff Francis of North Delta, B.C., in the Colorado Rockies rotation. Aumont threw a bullpen yesterday in Denver for scouting director Bill Schmidt.

Or ... well, you get the idea. One thing is for sure, Aumont was on a flight last night from Denver to Orlando, one of three players invited by Major League Baseball to attend the ESPN Zone for today's telecast of the early portion of the draft, which gets under way at 2 p.m. today, and concludes tomorrow, 50 rounds later. The NCAA does not allow collegians to attend the event.

Baltimore has taken only one high-school pitcher -- Surrey B.C.'s Adam Loewen -- in the first round under owner Peter Angelos who may overrule his baseball people. Both the Florida Marlins, selecting 12th, and the Cincinnati Reds, at 15, have interest.

Aumont would be only the fifth Canadian selected in the first round, the first from Quebec, and maybe the highest taken since Adam Loewen went fourth overall in 2002 to the Orioles.

The Blue Jays, who own two first-round selections -- the 16th overall pick as compensation for the Texas Rangers signing free agent Frank Catanalotto, and their own at 21.

They like six-foot, 170-pound high school shortstop Peter Kozma of Owasso, Okla., and 6-foot-1, 200-pound catcher Devin Mesoraco, of Punxsutawney Pa., who they hope is as reliable as the town's famous groundhog.

The Jays have liked Kozma since general manager J.P. Ricciardi saw him play during March in a tournament at Auburndale, Fla. He also hit over .500 for the season and homered in the first inning of the Oklahoma state championship game. It stood up in a 1-0 win.

Of course, either Mesoraco or Kozma could be gone by the time it is the Jays' turn. Which explains why the Jays also have interest in Clemson lefty Daniel Moskos, Vanderbilt closer Casey Weathers, slugger Beau Mills of Lewis-Clark State, Tennessee Volunteers catcher J.P. Arencibia and shortstop Kevin Ahrens, a high schooler from Houston, Tex.

PROJECTED FIRST-ROUND PICKS

NO. TEAM PLAYER POS. UNIVERSITY/HIGH SCHOOL

1. TB David Price LH Vanderbilt

2. KC Josh Vitters 3B Anaheim, HS

3. CHC Jarrod Parker RH Bluffton, Ind. HS

4. PIT Ross Detwiler LH Missouri State

5. BAL Phillippe Aumont RH Canadian junior team

6. WAS Mike Moustakas SS Chatsworth, Calif., HS

7. MIL Matt Wieters C Georgia Tech

8. COL Daniel Moskos LH Clemson

9. ARZ Matt Dominguez 3B Chatsworth, Calif., HS

10. SF Casey Weathers RH Vanderbilt

11. SEA Nick Schmidt LH Arkansas

12. FLA Blake Beavan RH Irving, Tex. HS

13. CLE Michael Main RH Deltona, Fla., HS

14. ATL Jason Heyward OF McDonough, Ga. HS

15. CIN Julio Borbon OF Tennessee

16. TOR Devin Mesoraco C Punxsutawney, Pa., HS

17. TEX Madison Bumgarner LH Lenoir, N.C., HS

18. STL Rick Porcello RH Chester, N.J., HS

19. PHIL Chris Withrow RH Odessa, Tex., HS

20. LAD Josh Smoker LH Sugar Valley, Ga., HS

21. TOR Peter Kozma SS Owasso, Okla., HS

22. SF Beau Mills 3B Lewis-Clark State

23. SD James Simmons RH Cal-Riverside

24. TEX Todd Frazier SS Rutgers

25. CHW Corey Brown OF Oklahoma State

26. OAK Danny Payne OF Georgia Tech

27. DET Travis d'Arnaud C Lakewood, Calif., HS

28. MIN Kevin Ahrens SS Houston, HS

29. SF Michael Burgess OF Tampa, HS

30. NYY Matt LaPorta 1B Florida

HIGHEST CANADIAN SELECTIONS

POS. PLAYER HOMETOWN DRAFTED YEAR PICK

1. LH Adam Loewen Surrey, B.C. Orioles 2002 4

2. LH Jeff Francis North Delta, B.C. Rockies 2002 9

3. RH Dave Wainhouse Toronto Expos 1988 19

4. SS Kevin Nicholson Surrey Padres 1997 27

5. 3B Scott Thorman Cambridge Braves 2000 30

6. RH Chris Reitsma Calgary Red Sox 1996 34

7. OF Ntema Ndungidi Montreal Orioles 1997 36

8. RH Aaron Myette Surrey, B.C. Chisox 1997 43

9. C Joey Votto Etobicoke Reds 2002 44

10. SS Danny Klassen Leamington Brewers 1993 55

11. RH Martin Mainville Montreal Expos 1993 60

12. RH Jesse Crain Toronto Twins 2002 61

13. RH Ryan Dempster Gibsons, B.C. Rangers 1995 66

14. RH Yan Lachapelle Gatineau, Que. Jays 1996 69

15. RH Robbie Vael Surrey Indians 1997 79

16. C Justin Morneau NewWestminister, B.C. Twins 1999 87

17. C Chris Robinson Dorchester Tigers 2005 90

18. 1B Nick Weglarz Stevensville Indians 2005 94

19. RH Joe Young Fort McMurray, Alta. Jays 1993 98

20. OF Adam Stern Port Stanley Braves 2001 105


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