FutureBacks Power Rankings: 2011 Short Season

Now that the the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system boasts an equal number of shorts-season affiliates as full-season affiliates, we have split the FutureBacks.com Power Rankings accordingly. Here, we rank the hottest D-backs prospect who have spent most of their season with the Yakima Bears, Missoula Osprey, or AZL and DSL clubs.

Yakima Bears `13-24 (4th)
Missoula Osprey 21-12 (1st)
AZL Diamondbacks 10-17 (5th)
DSL Diamondbacks 17-29 (7th)

With the addition of the Arizona League D-backs as a fourth Short-Season affiliate, it is no wonder that the talent is spread thinner amongst them than before.  As a result, only the Missoula Osprey has won more than 40% of its games among these four squads.  Those Osprey, however, are solidly in first place, close to clinching a division title.

Moreover, while the back ends of these rosters are short on talent, there is nevertheless plenty of top-end talent performing well on each squad.  Now a full year removed from arm surgery, Yiomar Camacho is putting up unbelievably dominant numbers.  But due to lack of run support and a sometimes shaky bullpen, he has only won two of his six starts for the AZL D-backs.  Mauricio Soto tells a similar story, as his superb 4.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio has yielded a losing record with the DSL D-backs.

The Osprey, naturally, have a myriad of players having phenomenal seasons, but among those, third-sacker Eric Groff stands out.  A 44th-round draft selection in 2010, Groff is exceeding all expectations by ranking aming the Pioneer League Leaders in virtually every offensive category.

These teams should get an additional boost as more players from the June draft come to terms with the ballclub.  Currently, only three of the club's top nine picks have signed, and one of the first four have.  The D-backs' draft was universally heralded as one of the best this year, so if they get the majority of these players in the fold soon, it could make a huge difference for the Short-Season affiliates, and some of the Full-Season ones as well.

These rankings chronicle the hottest short-season prospects who are making the most of their opportunity by performing well.  They are not a ranking of the prospects' potential. 

Abbreviations: Mis=Missoula, Pio=PioneerLeague, Yak= Yakima, NWL = Northwest League DSL = Dominican Summer League, AZL = Arizona League

Stats are accurate as of Monday, July 25th.  A yellow highlight indicates a recent promotion.

Rank Pos Name Team Comment
1 3B Eric Groff Mis 13-game hitting streak and 2nd in Pio with 1.062 OPS
2 SP Yiomar Camacho AZL Leads AZL with 1.38 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 36 K... plus just 4 BB!
3 1B Jimmy Comerota Mob Called to AA to fill in for injury Sunday after batting .311 with 17 BB and 9 K at Yakima
4 Util Tom Belza Mis .330/.382/.596 and no errors (six positions played)
5 2B Stephen Cardullo Mis .451 OBP paces the Pioneer League
6 SS Pat Donahue AZL Batting .310 with an absurd 6/17 K/BB ratio; the 17 BB is 2nd in AZL
7 SS Josh Parr Mis Batting .304 and is tied for the league-lead with 15 SB
8 SP Raymond Hernandez Mis 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in six starts for David's little brother
9 P Taylor Siemens Mis 18th-rounder leads Pio with 1.95 ERA
10 RP Kable Hogben Yak Ridiculous 27:1 K/BB ratio and a 0.53 ERA for the Aussie
11 C Roidany Aguila Mis 7 HR in just 24 games (.565 SLG)
12 RP Evan Marshall Vis 4th-rounder now has a 0.60 ERA between Yakima and Visalia
13 SP Mauricio Soto DSL Tied for 4th in DSL with 54 strikeouts
14 RP Jose Jose DSL Converted OF has 1.88 ERA and 30 K in 24 IP
15 C Zachary Jones Yak Catcher has stolen seven bases, made just one error, and has a .769 OPS
16 2B Jesse Liriano DSL Leads his team in H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, and SLG, but also K
17 1B Joseph Weik AZL His nine doubles is tied for 4th in AZL; .307/.386/.480 slash line
18 OF Chris Ellison Mis Good power/speed combo; 15 XBH and 11 SB in 32 games
19 3B Ryan Court Mis .839 OPS from the hot corner
20 SP Karl Triana DSL Leads team starters with 54.2 IP, 2.63 ERA, and 0.99 WHIP
21 SP Teo Gutierrez Yak Was 3-0 with a 2.93 ERA prior to a disastrous start on Sunday
22 2B Jesus Abreu AZL 16 walks in just 18 games gives Abreu a team-leading .429 OBP
23 SP Juan Valdez DSL 2.82 ERA and 42 K to 12 BB, but 9 HB... maybe switch to decaf?
24 SS Pedro Ruiz AZL .450 OBP in 29 DSL games prior to landing in the States
25 RP D.J. Johnson Mis 0.82 ERA and 0.73 WHIP for new Osprey closer
26 C Freddy Ramirez DSL Caught 21% of runners and reached base 44% of the time thru 22 games
27 RP Keith Hessler Mis 25 K and .147 BAA in 9 relief games
28 SP Jesse Darrah Mis Hasn't allowed more than 3 runs in any of his 7 starts; zero in his most recent
29 RP Matt Sample Mis Hadn't allowed any earned runs in 10 games prior to Sunday
30 OF Yorman Garcia DSL 17-year-old has been one of the best hitters on his team

To Watch:

SS Ronny Mejias (DSL D-backs) is batting just .199, but has drawn 33 walks in 41 contests.

3B Ramfy Vargas (DSL D-backs) has a .963 OPS through eight games.

1B Jacob Williams (AZL D-backs) has a .915 OPS through six games.

RP Elroy Urbina (AZL D-backs) is tied for the team-lead with two wins and a save, plus has fanned 17 strikeouts in a dozen innings of work.

C Bryan Henry (Missoula) has three extra-base hits in three games since returning from an injury.

OF Ty Linton (Missoula) is 7-for-18 (.389) so far this season.

OF Marc Bourgeois (Yakima) has struggled somewhat with the stick, but leads the Bears with six assists in just 17 outfield games.

3B Carter Bell (Yakima) is batting .313 over a dozen games

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