FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 2

We present a free preview of the FutureBacks Power Rankings this week. Despite the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system struggling as a whole, there are several prospects enjoying fantastic starts in 2008.

The four full season affiliates have had a rough start to the 2008 campaign.  Tucson's 2-16 record is the worst in team history through 18 games, Visalia has gone 3-11 since beginning the year 4-0, and South Bend is off to an even colder start than usual at 2-14.  Only the Mobile BayBears are holding their heads high with a 9-8 record.  As a result, we're only listing 20 prospects this week rather than our usual 25.

It's no secret that the Arizona Diamondbacks traded away several great prospects this winter.  While a stellar draft by Tom Allison has replenished the system, many of these players are playing at higher levels than they would have done if the organizational depth were as strong as before.  There are still plenty of great prospects in the organization, but several of them are struggling out of the gate due to their aggressive affiliate placement.  

One prospect in particular stands out.  Max Scherzer is not only the hottest and best prospect in the Diamondbacks organization, but the hottest in all of baseball, and certainly ranks among one of the best.

Remember, these rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity, not the best prospects overall.  For the top 50 prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, click here.

Note: Stats are accurate as of Sunday, April 20th.   

Rank Prev Name Team Comment
1 1 SP Max Scherzer Tuc Adds another unbelievable start, now 17 IP, 29 K, 3 BB, 7 H, 0.00 ERA
2 3 SP Matt Torra Mob 3-0, 0.75, 13 K, 0 BB - Would rank #1 in almost any other organization
3 2 OF Gerardo Parra Vis 3 triples and 3 more walks than strikeouts headline Parra's achievements
4 - 3B Ricardo Sosa Vis 14-for-his-last-26 (.538) with 2 HR & 6 RBI
5 6 SP Cesar Valdez Vis Now 3-0 with 1.96 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and nearly a strikeout per inning
6 11 3B Cesar Nicolas Mob Batted .500 during 7-game hit streak before he got hit in the elbow during BP
7 9 1B Mike Mee SB Leads Hawks with absurd .470 OPB: 13 BB, 6 K
8 17 RP Josh Ellis Vis 11 scoreless innings, 6 base runners allowed
9 14 SS Yunesky Sanchez Mob Still hasn't walked, but you can't argue with batting .417 after skipping a level
10 13 RP Abe Woody Mob Un-scored upon through 10.2 innings
11 - C Wilkin Castillo Tuc Batting .407 over his last 10 games
12 4 OF Evan Frey SB BA falling, but still has 10-game hit streak
13 21 IF Matt Oxendine SB Hitting .324; could be promoted soon
14 22 RP Forrest Cory Mob Now 9-0 since June of last year
15 - SP Josh Collmenter SB Last 2 starts: 10 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 10 K, 1 BB
16 24 RP Chad Beck SB 1.42 ERA, 0.87 WHIP in 12.2 workhorse relief innings
17 10 SP Adam Howard Mob Fell back to Earth in his last start, but overall numbers still impressive
18 - RP Jose Marte Vis Nippert's replacement is unscored upon in his last 7 innings
19 - OF Aaron Hanke SB Low BA, but drawing walks, showing some pop, and has 3 outfield assists already
20 15 OF Peter Clifford Vis Cooling off, but still has 5 doubles, 10 walks

Three To Watch:

- SP Tony Barnette (Mobile), who has allowed just two earned runs in his last two starts (2.44 ERA)

- SP Bryan Augenstein (South Bend), who rebounded in Kane County after a disastrous start in Lansing

- RP Thomas Layne (South Bend), who pitched three scoreless frames on Sunday and has a 2.57 ERA over his last three appearances

Falling Off:

- SS Pedro Ciriaco (12) may be tiring, playing shortstop every day with Mark Hallberg (hand) injured.

- C Ed Easley (8) went 0-for-6 Saturday and has just one extra base hit in his last 8 starts.

- OF Tim Raines (7) saw his BA fall from .448 to .291 in one week - you do the math.

- 1B Josh Whitesell (5) hit three home runs early, then no extra base hits since April 11.

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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