The FutureBacks Power Rankings v 2.8

Who's #1? After a week off for the FBPR to accomodate draft coverage, the FutureBacks Power Rankings is back covering all of June, and all of the system. Promotions determine the top spot, not who got promoted, but how they fared after the promo. Could Upton drop off? Could Hairston jump up? Who's on their way to Phoenix, or out of town?

Note:  Stats are current through Sunday June 18th, 2006.  This list is not a ranking of the 30 top prospects, but instead of the 30 hottest players in the organization, the ones 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, recent addition) exceptions may be made.  With last week off the FBPR took stats for all of June.  Agree?  Disagree?  Bored?  Email questions, comments, and concerns to FutureBacks@cox.net.

Rank Last Week Name Team Comment
1 6 Micah Owings Tuc The dominance continues, and his debut in Tucson opened any eyes that weren't already wide.  In two June starts at Double-A Tennessee he allowed 10 hits and none earned in 13 innings, striking out 11 without a walk.  Good stuff, then he got the promotion, and despite walking five in six innings of work he fails to allow a run...or a hit!  After Nippert's struggles Owings may be the next youngster to get a shot in the bigs.
2 1 Greg Smith Tenn Smith falls out of the top spot less because of the loss and three earned he was greeted with after his promotion to Double-A, and more because Owings dominated so much.  Smith picked up two more wins in Lancaster allowing just four hits in 15 innings before bumping up to Double-A and picking up his first loss of the year, allowing seven hits and three earned in five starts.  Still a promising start at the higher level.
3 2 Danny Richar Tenn This month he's hitting .357 and though he has only five extra base hits and five walks, he's still scored nine runs, and carries an on base percentage of .485.  He's hit .300 every single month, and continues to assert himself in the lead off spot.
4 3 Carlos Quentin Tuc After a tough May where he hit just .246 Quentin has returned to form, hitting .319 this month with nine scored and eight driven in.  Reports that he was being affected by the trade rumors swirling around his name have been squashed, though there are questions about whether or not he's still the top corner outfield prospect (more on that later).
5 4 Alberto Callaspo Tuc In the last two months Callaspo has had exactly two games where he hasn't reached base.  In June he's hitting .349 with 15 walks, 15 runs scored, six RBI and on the season this lead off hitter extraordinaire is also clutch, hitting .424 with RISP and two out.
6 5 Tony Pena Tuc Finally coming into his own.  The former top pitching prospect in the organization has morphed into maybe the top relief pitcher in the organization.  In 7.1 innings in June he has two wins, a save and zero earned allowed.  He hasn't walked a batter this month, he's struck out seven, and on the season with Tucson he's at his best with runners in scoring position, keeping hitters to a .182 average.
7 8 Scott Hairston Tuc Once the top second base prospect in the system, has Hairston moved ahead of Quentin as the top corner outfield prospect?  Could be, and his name comes up in virtually every trade rumor the Diamondbacks are involved in.  If anything, the talk has made him better.  This month he's off to a ridiculous start, hitting .369 with six dingers, 17 driven in and 19 scored, and after striking out nearly twice as many times as he had walked during the first two months, he's got nine free passes and nine Ks in June.
8 7 Mark Reynolds Lan Just when we thought the JetHawks might have found him a permanent home, Reynolds goes back to playing all over the diamond, and continues to hit the ball all over the diamond as well.  He's got five homers and 17 RBI in June, to go along with 12 runs scored.  Though his strikeouts are still high (15 against seven walks this month) he's still hit .300 or better in every month of the season.
9 11 Carlos Gonzalez Lan Quentin?  Hairston?  Nope.  The top corner outfield prospect is still Carlos Gonzalez, and his production this month is finally justifying it.  He's hitting an incredible .424 with nine doubles, two homers, and an insane 20 RBI just halfway through June.  He started June with an eight game hit streak and has seven multi-hit games in the month, explaining his 13 runs scored.
10 23 Chris Carter Tuc The biggest jump in the FBPR this week goes to Carter, who has finally gotten comfortable in Triple-A and mashed.  He's hitting .339 in June, with a double, seven homers, 12 runs scored and an organization leading 22 RBI.  He's walking more than twice as much as he strikes out (14/6) and is even showcasing speed, swiping three bases this month.  In the big three (Avg/HR/RBI) he's improved every month, going from .253/1/6 in April, to .305/3/11 in May to the .339/7/22 he's posted through just over half of June.
11 17 Ross Ohlendorf Tenn Though Owings and Smith are getting all the press, the entire Smokies rotation have been great and Ohlendorf has shined.  This month he's 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 innings, walking just one while striking out 12.  Pity the team that faces Ohlendorf at home, he's 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in Smokies Park this year.
12 9 Jerry Gil Tenn Despite continuing to showcase his newfound power with six homers this month, he's only grabbed 11 RBI and his average is hovering just below .288.  More disturbing is the 20 strikeouts in just 66 at bats this month.
13 12 Ryan Doherty SB He drops a spot after allowing one run in 7.2 innings this month, and if that isn't a crime, we don't know what is, especially when you consider opponents are hitting just .087 off him.  Two walks against 13 strikeouts in those 7.2 innings.
14 14 Chris Rahl Lan After a little bit of a slide in May Rahl has started to even things out.  The power numbers are down (zero homers in June), but the production is still there, with 10 RBI.  He's pretty much the full time center fielder now, which puts him in a tough spot, sandwiched between Chris Young and Upton, but his .379 with RISP and two out, better than both of the others.
15 27 Adam Bass Tuc We gotta love this.  Bass, who was #1 on this list in week one, and then proceeded to fall off the list, gets promoted and just turns it on in Triple-A.  In June he is 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA including his last start where he threw eight innings of four hit, one run ball, walking one and striking out three.  Overshadowed by Owings, but his experience could put him ahead of Micah in the list of guys likely to get a call.
16 15 Jeff Bajenaru Tuc How does a guy who has a .167 average against in 10 June innings drop?  Despite a .213 average against for the season he appears to have lost the closers job in Tucson to Tony Pena.  Still good, but the shine might be coming off just a bit.
17 19 Matt Chico Tenn At FutureBacks we try to be objective, but we have to admit we were rooting for Chico in his first start after being promoted to Double-A Tennessee.  He gave us a smile, allowing just four runs in 19 innings over his first three starts.  The guy who was 1-9 in his last stint at Double-A is now 1-1 with an ERA under three and an opponents average under .200.
18 13 Stephen Drew Tuc Drew's struggles continue, as he's now gone 83 at bats without a home run, and he's driven in only six runs this month.  There's no doubt he'll bounce back, but for now his .254 average drops him five spots.
19 25 Doug Slaten Tenn Appears to be the closer now in Tennessee, and appears to like the role.  Six appearances, 6.1 innings, two saves, a 1.42 ERA and a stunning .143 average against in June, but most impressive is the 45/7 strikeout to walk ratio on the season.
20 NR Mike Bacsik Tuc In June this 28 year old has won all four appearances, three starts and one in relief.  Though many considered him a 'space filler' when he was signed to a minor league deal, he now appears to be the guy the D'Backs thought Kevin Jarvis might be.  Bacsik is 7-0 on the season with a 2.41 ERA and a .229 average against, and he's dominating at Tucson Electric Park, going 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA at home.
21 10 Donald Julio SB Four appearances for the South Bend youngster this month, nine innings, and he's been shelled.  He's allowed 12 runs in those nine innings, and though five of those were unearned, it doesn't change the fact that he allowed three runs in four straight appearances.
22 NR Kyler Newby SB Helloooooo Newby!  When Julio struggled, Newby stepped in and very simply, did not.  Five games this month, one win, two saves, nine innings, zero hits, zero runs.  On the season opponents are hitting just .093 against him, and in June he walked three, and struck out 18.  Primed for a promotion.
23 18 Cesar Nicolas Lan Though he hit .333 in June the power seems to have left him.  He recorded just four doubles and zero homers, driving in just six and he's hitting just .197 with RISP.  It's been 67 at bats since his last round tripper, and that power is a huge part of his game.
24 16 Dustin Nippert Tuc Not a good month for the lanky right hander.  Three starts in Tucson, one with the big league club, and none were particularly impressive.  He's allowed 21 hits in his last 14 Triple-A innings, and his control has been a problem, walking 10 in those 14 innings.
25 NR Greg Aquino Tuc Though he was demoted to Triple-A it appears Aquino has used this move to the minors as a 'tune up' rather than a 'trip down.'  Since arriving in Tucson he's pitched in seven games, going 8.2 innings, picking up a win and a save, and allowing only three hits, without an earned run.
26 21 Anthony Cupps SB Despite a win and a 2.60 ERA in 17.1 June innings, Cupps drops a few spots because of other great performances.  He's made consistent improvement however, his opponents average against has come down each month (.396 in April, .285 in May, and .206 in June).
27 28 Forrest Cory SB The lefty continues to be good enough to stick around, but middle relievers have a tough time moving up.  Cory has one loss and one save in June, but held opponents to a .107 average in eight innings pitched.  At his best under pressure, when opponents are hitting just .161 with RISP and .176 with runners on.
28 30 Steven Jackson Tenn In June he is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA, but still moves up because he is getting no love from his offense.  In 11 starts this year he has yet to allow more than three runs, yet still he's just 2-5 with a 2.84 ERA.
29 20 Justin Upton SB The superstar in training is getting his first taste of a slump.  He's hitting just .224 this June, with a single homer and just six RBI.  He's struck out 14 times this month (against just four walks) and scored just five times.
30 24 Jaime D'Antona Tenn If Upton is slumping, D'Antona is ice cold.  Just a .163 average this month, just one homer and four RBI, and after a May that saw him getting selective (21 walks against 17 Ks) his June has been just the opposite (three walks, 12 punch outs).

On the Cusp:

Mark Rosen (Lancaster)--The middle reliever carries a 1.64 ERA in June, just a .220 average against, and a .111 ERA in his last nine appearances.  Tough for middle relievers to crack this list, but with another good week, Rosen figures to be there.

Brian Barden (Tucson)--You never notice Barden with all the start power down in Tucson, and he likes it that way.  If he continues hitting the way he has in June people will notice.  He goes .356 with four doubles, two homers, eight RBI and 10 runs scored this month, walking more than he struck out (10/9) and rolling up a June on base percentage of over .500.

Jesus Cota (Tennessee)--Cota may be the forgotten man in the D'Backs system, but now that he's getting a little more consistent playing time, he's taking advantage.  This month he's hitting .327 with a homer, four runs and six RBI in just 52 at bats.  This may be his last shot with the D'Backs, so he's going to have to take advantage of every at bat he gets this year.

Falling Off: 

Chris Kinsey (26th last week/Tennessee)--Despite holding opponents to a pretty decent .263 average, they got hits when it counted, particularly after walks (he had seven in 9.2 innings) resulting in a June ERA of 5.59.

Trey Hendricks (29th last week/South Bend)--Back to earth this month after a great May.  His average (.229 in June, .319 in May), homers (zero in June, five in May), and RBI (six in June, 25 in May) are all down despite hitting .324 with RISP on the season.

Pedro Ciriaco (22nd last week/South Bend)--Ciriaco started super hot, but as opponents have made adjustments, Ciriaco has not.  He hits just .229 this month, and strikes out 15 times with only six runs scored.


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