Prospect Power Rankings: Vol. 7

After a week off, our rankings return for another edition. Special consideration is given for the past week's action and can wreck havoc on the lists from update to update, but rankings are primarily compiled on an overall season-to-date basis. Statistics updated through July 17.

(Editor's Note: In fairness, a second set of rankings will debut later this week and will include players only on short-season rosters.)

1. Rich Hill – SP – Iowa
(6-1, 1.94 ERA, 92.2 IP, 121 K, 20 BB, 0.87 WHIP)

Hill tied a season-high with 14 strikeouts in his most recent start against Albuquerque on Sunday night. He had his longest outing of eight innings while surrendering three runs on seven hits and also started the Triple-A All-Star Game in Toledo, Ohio, before a national audience on ESPN last week. Another major league audition (and possibly more) is only inevitable.

Highest Ranking: First.

2. Randy Wells – SP – Iowa
(8-3, 2.18 ERA, 91 IP, 78 K, 18 BB)

Four consecutive wins have dulled the pain of his first Triple-A start, in which he gave up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. Since then, he's allowed five runs (four earned) in 25 innings.

Highest Ranking: First.

3. Chris Shaver – SP – West Tenn
(5-5, 2.10 ERA, 107.2 IP, 102 K, 36 BB)

Few have been more solid since June began. In his last eight starts, the left-hander has a 1.29 ERA.

Highest Ranking: Second.

4. Donald Veal – SP – Daytona
(7-4, 2.27 ERA, 103.2 IP, 109 K, 56 BB)

It took Veal over 23 innings to allow his first earned run at High A since being called up from Peoria. He has scattered only 64 hits in 103 2/3 innings for the lowest average against of any starter in the farm system at .181.

Highest Ranking: Fourth.

5. Sean Gallagher – SP – West Tenn
(8-2, 2.39 ERA, 113 IP, 116 K, 44 BB)

He has won four of six starts since being called up from Daytona. The good news is, he has a 2.60 ERA and .236 average against in those six starts. The bad news: the walks returned on Thursday night in Mobile when Gallagher issued six free passes. Nonetheless, over his last three outings, he has a 2.00 ERA and 11 hits allowed in 18 innings.

Highest Ranking: Third.

6. Ryan Norwood – 1B – Peoria
(.320, 12 HR, 50 RBI, .355 OBP)

Don't look now, but the former East Carolina Pirate now has the second most hits in the Midwest League (112). He has maintained a .300 average or better most all year and is justifiably the Chiefs' cleanup hitter.

Highest Ranking: Fifth.

7. Mike Fontenot – 2B – Iowa
(.312, 20 2B, 38 BB, .394 OBP)

His on-base percentage is again one of the best averages in the farm system for the second straight season. He leads the Triple-A team in doubles and walks.

Highest Ranking: Seventh.

8. Chris Walker – OF – West Tenn
(.305, 30 RBI, 35 SB, .361 OBP)

Jaxx hitting coach Tom Beyers calls him the MVP of the Double-A team. He leads the farm system in stolen bases and is quietly putting together his best season ever.

Highest Ranking: Sixth.

9. Jake Fox – C – West Tenn
(.294, 18 HR, 66 RBI)

Despite struggling with the bat since his call-up to Double-A (13-for-60), he retains the farm system lead in RBIs.

Highest Ranking: Second.

10. Sam Fuld – OF – Daytona
(.309, 36 RBI, 20 SB, .390 OBP)

No. 1 for two straight weeks earlier, Fuld recently spent over two weeks on the DL nursing a bulged disc in his back. Since returning, he has six hits in 36 at-bats.

Highest Ranking: First.

On the Bubble

Matt Avery (Peoria) – The former starter has not allowed a run in his last 11 relief appearances. He has seen more playing time of late in the closer's role, where he has 10 saves since June 12. Since June began, he has a 0.47 ERA in 19 1/3 innings.

Mitch Atkins (Peoria) – His numbers aren't as impressive of late as they were in the first half, but the right-hander maintains a solid 2.74 ERA to go with eight wins.

Nic Jackson (West Tenn) – Still hitting above .300 with an OBP of .375 at Double-A.

Adalberto Mendez (Daytona) – Impressive as it may be, a 1.89 ERA is actually a full point higher than his 0.84 mark after the first two months of the season. He has 14 saves and a .208 average against.

Miguel Negron (West Tenn) – Temporary funk, or starting to cool off? You be the judge. He has one hit in his last 17 at-bats, but is still hitting .329 in 44 games.

This Week's Honorable Mentions

Ryan Theriot (Iowa) – A promotion to the major league team excludes him from the list, but he left Iowa with a 15-game hitting streak right before a 0-for-2 performance in his last game prior to the call-up.

Michael Wuertz (Iowa) – He may or may not be worthy of "prospect" status due to age and three straight years of going back and forth between Des Moines and Chicago, but a 6-0 record, 1.85 ERA and 61 strikeouts to nine walks is nothing to sneeze at.

Casey McGehee (Iowa) – The starting third baseman has exploded this month with a .377 average and 14 RBIs in 13 games. His 0-for-2 performance on Monday night snapped a 10-game hitting streak.

Ryan Harvey (Daytona) – The power-hitting outfielder has his longest hitting streak of the season at eight games, and now has 12 homers. After entering the month with a .204 average, he has hit .340 in July and is up to .227 overall. His 57 RBIs are third in the farm system.

Robinson Chirinos (Peoria) – The infielder remains in A-ball for another season and is batting just .236. However, his 46 walks are the most in the farm system, and his 22 doubles lead the team for a .350 OBP.

Scott Moore (West Tenn) – The third baseman wowed fans and scouts on hand at this year's Southern League All-Star Game. His 14 homers are second in the league.


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