FutureBacks Power Rankings: 2nd Half - Week 4

Three players on this week's Power Rankings each hit two homers and drove in five on Sunday, while yet another clubbed one with five RBI. None of these players earned the top spot in our rankings, however. That honor belongs to a shortstop on a 15-game hitting streak who is generally known for his defensive contributions.

When a shortstop is hitting .373 with 11 doubles through 28 games, you have to think that he's a Derek Jeter, offense- first type of shortstop.  But when we asked this year's 9th round pick Mark Hallberg which side of the ball he takes more pride in, the answer surprised us.

"Defense, definitely," Hallberg replied instantly. "That's something that's got to be consistent for me on a daily basis."

These Power Rankings tend to focus on position players' offensive contributions, so when someone with Hallberg's defensive reputation becomes the absolute hottest hitter in the organization, the choice for #1 prospect becomes rather easy.

Remember, these rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity, with the heaviest weight placed on the past week of play.


Note: Stats are accurate through Sunday, July 16.   

Rank Prev Name Team Comment
1 5 SS Mark Hallberg Yak Batting .467 (28-for-60) during current 15-game hit streak
2 2 CF Justin Upton Mob Season numbers: 15 HR, 17 SB, .316/.400/.533
3 3 SP Esmerling Vasquez Mob Just 1 ER allowed over past 3 starts (0.45 ERA)
4 1 1B Chris Carter Tuc 2 HR 5 RBI Sunday for first multi-hit game in 8 days
5 4 RF Gerardo Parra SB 2 HR 5 RBI Sunday, now has 20 SB on season
6 8 1B Bryan Byrne Vis Current 9-game hit streak no big deal for Byrne
7 20 SP Yusmeiro Petit Az Petit's success allows club to play it safe with Randy Johnson
8 24 2B Taylor Harbin Mis 15 hits and 14 RBI in last 34 AB (.441)
9 18 3B Clayton Conner Yak 5 RBI Sunday and batting .340 so far
10 23 OF Aaron Cunningham Vis Both sides happy with Danny Richar trade
11 7 OF Jeff Salazar Az Sent down because he had options, not because he didn't perform
12 31 3B Brandon Burgess Vis July numbers: .333/.415/.594, 16 RBI
13 32 OF Peter Clifford Mis A dozen hits in last half-dozen games (.414 BA)
14 16 C Frank Curreri Vis 2 hits in each of his last 4 games
15 26 RP Reid Mahon Vis Promoted to Hi-A, where he tossed scoreless IP in debut
16 9 SP Bryan Henry Mis 10 H, 6 ER in last start, but still managed to win
17 10 2B Emilio Bonifacio Mob 9 hitless AB following hit streak, but still batting .329 in July
18 14 CF Joey Side SB Battling Parra for team lead in BA, Justin Brashear for OBP
19 29 P Adam Howard Vis 23 K/2 BB through 4 starts (2.45 ERA)
20 6 SP Brett Anderson Vis 44 hits allowed in fewer than 30 Hi-A IP
21 12 RF Carlos Gonzalez Mob Just 2 RBI this week, but still looking much better than in April & May
22 - 1B Brad Miller SB 2 HR 5 RBI Sunday, .349 BA past 10 games
23 17 OF Anthony Smith Mis BA is returning to Earth, but more BB than K a good omen
24 30 SP Derik Nippert SB Big Derik still hasn't allowed more than 2 ER in any appearance
25 - RP Daniel Stange Mob Promoted to AA, where he tossed scoreless IP in debut
26 - SP Thomas Layne Mis Tied for Pioneer League lead in strikeouts with 35
27 33 1B Javier Brito Mob BB total approaching K total
28 34 SP Cesar Valdez SB Won last two starts, allowing 2 ER over 14 IP
29 19 C Orlando Mercado Vis Playing time has diminished, bat hasn't
30 - RP Forrest Cory Vis Has not allowed a run since July 1st
31 - RP Clint Goocher Mob 1 ER over last 10 appearances (0.63 ERA)
32 - CF Evan Frey Yak 7-game hit streak for 10th round pick
33 - RP William Spottiswood Yak 6 strikeouts for every 4 walks so far
34 28 SP Tony Barnette SB Bad outings starting to catch up to the dominant ones
35 11 3B Jaime, D'Antona Tuc Cold again: .152 AVG and 1 walk over last 10 games

Three To Watch:

- SS Blake Sharpe (Visalia):  It's probably a fluke, but he's batting .379 after skipping South Bend

- SP Hector Ambriz (Visalia), who improved to 7-0 at home with 8 shutout innings Saturday

- RP Jalien Peguero (Tucson), who has performed will since returning to Tucson in June

Falling Off:

- SP Max Scherzer (13) allowed 15 ER over past 20 IP (6.75 ERA)

- SP Brooks Brown (15): BB total approaching K total in Mobile

- C Ed Easley (21) is banged up again after winning NOR Player of the Week

- SP Greg Smith (22) has been roughed up for 17 hits and 12 runs in two Triple-A starts

- P Chase Christianson (25) seems to be having more trouble with each start

- SP Matt Green (27) allowed 18 hits over his past two starts


Disagree with our rankings?  Have a question about a prospect?  Just plain lonely?  Email future_backs@yahoo.com with your concerns.

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