Note: Stats are current through Saturday August 6th, 2005. This list is not a ranking of the 30 top prospects, but instead of which 30 prospects are having the best weeks, and making the most of their opportunities. Players with a significant amount of Major League Service time are usually not eligible, though in certain situations (change of position, change of role) exceptions may be made. Agree? Disagree? Bored? Email questions, comments, and concerns to FutureBacks@cox.net.
|1||Andy Green||Tuc||So our fearless utility man went just 2-14 this week, because nobody is going to pitch to the guy hitting nearly .400 in his last 30 games. Yet he still manages to score four runs, how you might ask, because he walked eight times. Talk about finding a way to be productive. Still hitting .364 when leading off an inning, and still hitting .344 in the lead off spot in the order, Green just keeps setting the table for the meat of the order.||1|
|2||Jeff Cook||Lan||Once the forgotten man in Lancaster, Cook has turned it on. He goes 8-26 this week and makes all of them count, scoring seven runs, with a double, two homers, and two RBI, the one weakness for the lefty is lefties, whom he's hitting just .229 off of (.328 against righties). Love to see him coming up first, he's hitting over .400 when leading off an inning.||8|
|3||Chris Carter||Tenn||With Conor Jackson getting promoted everybody took one step forward, but somebody forgot to tell Carter he was making the big jump to Double-A. He starts his tenure with the Smokies by going 3-4 with a homer and three RBI in his first game, and then hits in his next five as well. Even more curious, suddenly he's found his eye for the strike zone, his strike out to walk numbers were 66/46 in Lancaster, but he walked four times and struck out just twice in Tennessee.||4|
|4||Casey Daigle||Tenn||Two appearances, took the loss in one after giving up one earned in each this week. He's allowed a run in three of his last four outings, and might be coming back down to earth. Opponents have hit .300 or better against him in every month but June.||3|
|5||Carlos Gonzales||SB||He is hitting .346 with Runners In Scoring Position this year, and is hitting for more and more power. Goes 7-27 this week with three doubles, a triple and a homer, scoring five times but driving in just two.||5|
|6||Cesar Nicolas||SB||Nearly cracked the Top Five, and a legit case could be made that he should have. Crushing at a 10-16 clip this week with an outrageous seven runs scored, and it always helps when you can drive yourself in, Nicolas hit three dingers this week alone. Can someone explain to me how Nicolas got left in South Bend while Javier Brito got the bump to Lancaster?||12|
|7||Stephen Drew||Tenn||Hitting in the #2 spot in the order for probably the first time in his career after the promotion to Double-A, and struggled a bit. Goes 4-19, does get a homer and three RBI, but seeing good breaking stuff for the first time is taking it's toll, he struck out four times this week, drawing only two walks. Should adjust nicely in Tennessee.||7|
|8||Matt Elliott||SB||Another high riser, and about to usurp Daigle as the most promising reliever in the system. Three appearances produces a win and two saves, allows just two hits and no earned runs in 3.2 innings. Still hasn't allowed a homer this year (44.2 innings) and opponents are hitting just .191 against him. His ERA is 2.01, what's not to like?||11|
|9||Carlos Quentin||Tuc||The power numbers, which had been coming on, have left the building, he's hit just one homer in his last 53 at bats, and even more worrisome, he grabbed a big goose egg in the RBI category this week. Still, the defense in center is beyond everybody's expectations (certainly as good as Shawn Green), and life without Conor ahead of him might take some adjustment.||9|
|10||Dustin Nippert||Tenn||At FutureBacks we love a good conspiracy theory, and we've got one. We don't believe Dustin Nippert actually had Tommy John surgery. Why? A) We haven't personally seen the scar, and B) there's no way he's this good coming off of major surgery. C'mon! Another great start for Nippert, who goes six innings and gives up just five hits and one earned run. He's given up more than three earned just once in 12 starts and has gone at least five in every start this season. Until we see the scars, we consider the surgery to be a hoax.||14|
|11||Dan Uggla||Tenn||Just 4-19, but we'll forgive him because one of those knocks was a double, and two more were home runs. Drove in six and scored five times to boot. Getting it done at second base, after getting it done just about everywhere for the first three months of the season, and now gets to turn two with Stephen Drew.||10|
|12||Miguel Montero||Tenn||Hot start has turned into tough going for the young catcher, who was just 3-16 this week with a double and a single RBI. Really struggling with top notch breaking pitches, as evidenced by a .175 batting average against righties. Also appears much more comfortable in Smokies Park, where he's hitting .444 (just .151 on the road).||6|
|13||Augie Murillo||SB||After scaring us a bit Murillo is bouncing back. A solid 7-18 week with two doubles, two homers, three RBI and seven runs scored, also snags four walks and a stolen base. Hit just .240 in July, don't expect a repeat.||13|
|14||Enrique Gonzalez||Tenn||After losing five straight starts at the end of June and beginning of July Gonzalez has gotten the life back in his arm. This week goes seven strong, allowing just four hits and one earned run, on a homer. Walked one, struck out eight, this is the guy we loved at the beginning of the year. He hasn't allowed more than two earned in his last four starts.||17|
|15||A. J. Shappi||Lan||Don't call it a come back. This week Shappi won his second straight start after dropping four straight. Six hits and two earned this week, just 11 hits and three earned in his last two (15 innings) during which he's walked two and struck out 12.||16|
|16||Tony Pena||Tenn||Another pitcher who was once left for dead and is reminding us how good he actually is. He won his fourth straight decision with a six inning, seven hit performance, and after going 0-6 in his first nine starts, he's gone 6-3 in his last 10. Figuring it out in a hurry.||15|
|17||Alberto Gonzalez||SB||The defensive specialist is now just special. He's riding a nine game hit streak, and this week he was 12-31 with eight runs, five RBI, three walks and exactly the same number of strikeouts as home runs (1). Doesn't care what the situation is, he's hitting .329 with nobody on, he's hitting .320 with RISP and two out.||24|
|18||Josh Perrault||SB||It was a tough week for middle relievers in the D'Backs system, but don't tell Perrault that. After getting his first start of the season and giving up just four hits and no earned runs in six innings he gives up one earned in 2.2 in his only appearance this week, once again coming out of the pen. His ERA sits at a low low 1.99.||20|
|19||Edgar Varela||Lan||With Chris Carter bumped to Tennessee Varela will get more consistent time at first, but his 4-13 week might not justify it. Did drive in three but has to look around every now and again and wonder if he's on the right team since Montero, Carter, and Drew are all gone now.||19|
|20||Matt Chico||Lan||Has officially come back to form. His seven innings of six hit, one run ball earned him his fourth straight win; during that streak he's given up just three earned in 27 innings pitched.||OTC|
|21||Steve Garrabrants||Lan||Like the cheesy song goes he's feeling hot hot hot. Scores four times, drives in three during a 11-25 week that also featured a stolen base and three walks against only one strikeout. Developing into a potent lead off hitter as well.||28|
|22||Matt Wilkinson||Lan||Two appearances, one good, one not so good. Gives up two earned on four hits and then comes back two days later and earns the always pleasing one out save. Does the one thing you have to do to be a closer, throws strikes.||27|
|23||Kellen Raab||SB||Two starts, 15 innings pitched, 14 hits, but just three earned runs. Most importantly, two wins. One walk and 13 Ks in the two outings, one of which just happened to be a complete game. Now the Ace in South Bend, and warming up to the role.||NR|
|24||Koley Kolberg||SB||Meanwhile, the Man Who Would Be Ace struggles, going just 3.1 innings, allowing six earned on seven hits and a horrifying five walks against zero strikeouts. Season high in free passes, season low in punch outs, and really struggling on the road, where this nightmare of a start occurred. His ERA is 7.84 on the road, but a tidy little 2.17 at home.||18|
|25||Jay Garthwaite||Lan||Got bumped off the list last week, and since we love taking credit for things we had nothing to do with, we'll say that it must have irked him, and that's why he came back with a 11-27 week that included a four double, six RBI game. Came out of the week with six total doubles, two homers and 11 RBI.||NR|
|26||Mark Reynolds||SB||Solid if unspectacular 5-16 week, two doubles and a homer make it nicer, four runs and three RBI even better. Not blowing anybody's skirt up, but keeps him on the list.||25|
|27||Bill Murphy||Tuc||Finally, after two straight weeks On the Cusp Murphy cracks the list with 6.2 innings of six hit ball that featured just one unearned run. He's won four of his last five decisions and is finding the strike zone more and more often, particularly on the first pitch of an at bat.||OTC|
|28||Jereme Milons||SB||Four runs and four RBI help buoy a 6-29 week, and loves the haters, hitting .306 on the road and just .224 at home. Still showing the good speed that the organization got him for stealing two bases.||26|
|29||Sam Smith||Lan||Ouch. Tagged for four earned in two innings over two appearances, including a long home run. Hangs on because we like the kid's body of work, but he's allowed a run in his last three outings.||23|
|30||Jason Bulger||Tuc||How this guy hasn't made the list until now is a mystery up there with the crop circles. This week, two appearances, two innings pitched, one strikeout, and that's it. No hits, no runs, no walks, just steady relief work from a young guy in a Tucson bullpen that should be collecting social security.||NR|
On the Cusp:
Mark Romanczuk (Missoula): The Diamondbacks usually don't let draft picks go deep into games, and Romanczuk won't be grabbing nine innings any time soon, but the fourth round pick in the '05 draft is stretching it out a little more each time. This week goes six innings, allowing just three hits and one earned. That one earned is a pleasing pattern, he's allowed exactly that number in each of his last four starts.
Wilkin Castillo (South Bend): Back on the list thanks to more playing time due to Javier Brito's promotion. A nice 9-26 that becomes a lot nicer after you look over and see the seven game hit streak and eight RBI. Still needs better plate regonition, he struck out three times without ever sniffing a walk, but good solid speed helps as well, he swiped two bags.
Ramon Downing (Missoula): Another seven game hit streak, and an 8-18 week leave this Rookie keep this shortstop on a shortstop heavy organization's radar.
Conor Jackson (D'Backs): Should have been off this list (and in the Majors) long before he was. Two dingers against Colorado, off stud rookie Jeff Francis no less, show he belongs.
Steve Mena (Missoula): Hard to hate on a kid who scores five times and drives in four, but when you're sitting in the bottom five you're either moving up or moving out. Is clutch though, hitting .308 with RISP and two outs.
Javier Brito (Lancaster): Once again, how is Brito chilling in Hi-A, where he's hitting just .207, when Nicolas is still in South Bend?
Ross Ohlendorf (South Bend): All kinds of good stuff, especially on the fastball, but it's not happening. Allowed 14 hits and seven earned runs in five innings this week, but does make people miss a lot, he's K'd 116 in 120 innings on the season.
Rusty Ryal (Yakima): After hitting .330 in July Ryal is slumping in August. Just 2-23 this week, with one walk and six strikeouts. Will develop, just a rough patch, but off the PR for the moment.