The 2008 FutureBacks Debut Power Rankings

We've spent the offseason telling you who the best prospects in the Diamondbacks organization are. Now that the season is underway, we track the 25 hottest players in the system each week. Who is making the most noise? In our debut listing, the top-ranked players come as no surprise.

The South Bend Silver Hawks and Tucson Sidewinders each have only one win to their name.  That doesn't mean there's nothing worth watching there.  Max Scherzer has been lights out in his first two starts in Triple-A, but doesn't have a win to show for it, while Evan Frey has done his part to spark a chilly South Bend offense from the leadoff spot.

But most of the players on our inaugural list are either playing in California or Alabama.  Gerardo Parra headlines Visalia's best; the surprise with him isn't that he's dominating, but rather that he didn't begin the season in Mobile after a torrid spring.  We told you that Matt Torra would have a breakout year, an he has done nothing to change our minds through his first two starts with the BayBears.

These rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity, not the best prospects overall.  For example, Jarrod Parker is one of the best prospects in all of baseball, but he doesn't make this list after failing to escape the third inning in his debut start.

Note: Stats are accurate as of Sunday, April 13th.   

Rank Pos Name Team Comment
1 SP Max Scherzer Tuc How's this for dominant: 18K, 8 base runners, 0 ER in his first two starts
2 OF Gerardo Parra Vis Picking up where he left off this spring: .349/.451/.581/1.032
3 SP Matt Torra Mob 2-0, 0.75, 8 K, 0 BB - A great sign after last year's horrible beginning
4 OF Evan Frey SB Batting .387 as South Bend's leadoff hitter
5 1B Josh Whitesell Tuc Why did the Nats let him go? 3 HR thru 39 AB (.590 SLG)
6 SP Cesar Valdez Vis Soft-tosser is 2-0, 1.59.  Isn't the California League supposed to be tough on his kind?
7 OF Tim Raines Tuc Batting a ridiculous .448 with a 1.156 OPS, but has also been caught stealing an absurd three times already
8 C Ed Easley Vis Top catching prospect is batting .344 in the early going
9 1B Mike Mee SB Born one day after the Hawks oldest player; experience leading to .353 BA
10 SP Adam Howard Mob 2-0, 0.82, but 9/6 K/BB ratio will need to improve for his success to continue
11 3B Cesar Nicolas Mob .583 SLG for the converted first baseman - and no errors so far
12 SS Pedro Ciriaco Vis .306 BA, 4 SB, 0 CS, 0 E - Leads team in H, 2B, & RBI
13 RP Abe Woody Mob Un-scored upon through 6.1 innings
14 SS Yunesky Sanchez Mob Batting .417 after skipping a level, but in only 24 AB so far
15 OF Peter Clifford Vis .421 OBP for this experienced outfielder
16 3B Brandon Burgess Mob Gets on base over 50% of the time, and has six RBI to boot
17 RP Josh Ellis Vis Control problems fading, strikeouts still there - 8 K, 3 BB, 5 IP, 0 R
18 RP Vince Bongiovanni Mob 5.0 IP, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 H
19 RP Leyson Septimo Vis 0 ER, 1 H since converting to pitcher
20 2B Rusty Ryal Mob .382 BA, but 10 K in 34 AB
21 SS Matt Oxendine SB SB's oldest player homered and drove in four in team's only victory
22 RP Forrest Cory Mob Crafty southpaw keeps getting it done: 0.00 ERA through 5 innings
23 SP Wes Roemer Vis 1-0, 2.45; it's getting easier to tell him apart from Barry Enright (0-2, 9.75)
24 RP Chad Beck SB Six shutout innings and a win for the big reliever
25 1B Bryan Byrne Mob .323 BA, .417 OBP, 5 BB, 7 K

Just Missing:

- C John Hester (Mobile), who is batting .400, but struggling for at bats with two other catchers on the squad.

- RP Chad Beck (South Bend), who has fanned 11 through his first eight innings pitched

- RP Kyler Newby (Visalia), who has allowed just three base runners in his first four appearances

- SP Brooks Brown (Mobile), who owns a 3.27 ERA after two starts, and will get on these rankings in no time

- OF Cyle Hankerd (Mobile), who leads his team with 7 RBI,  and has only fanned once in 30 AB

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

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