FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 8

Minor league relievers aren't often considered top prospects, because it can signify that the organization isn't that concerned with giving them innings. So many relievers are performing well in the Diamondbacks system that some may convert into starters.

Thomas Layne was a starter in Missoula, then began 2008 as a reliever, and now works as a swingman for South Bend.  He is succeeding in both roles.  Evan Scribner was a phenomenal starter at Central Connecticut.  He has performed so well as a reliever that the organization may consider moving him back to the rotation, particularly with his offspeed stuff being so filthy.

All three closers at the higher levels appear on these rankings.  Submarining Josh Ellis has been fantastic all year for Visalia after struggling through command problems at Yakima and skipping South Bend.  Sinkerballer Reid Mahon is allowing a lot of hits, but he is stingy with extra-base knocks and induced a lot of double plays.  Changeup artist Leo Rosales has has an up-and-down year, but when he's been on, he's been untouchable.  Rosales' stuff would lend itself to the rotation better than the repertoires of the other two closers would.

Remember, these rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity, with the greatest emphasis placed on recent play, not the best prospects overall. 

Note: Stats are accurate as of Sunday, June 1st.   

Rank Prev Name Team Comment
1 1 SP Max Scherzer Az Allowed his first run as major league reliever vs. Nats
2 2 3B Jaime D'Antona Tuc Active 10-game hit streak; hit .451 in May
3 3 SP Bryan Augenstein SB In MWL: 3rd in IP, 6th in strikeouts, 6th in ERA, 6th in WHIP
4 8 SP Cesar Valdez Vis Last 4 starts: 30.1 IP, 25 H, 19 K, 4 BB, 1.48 ERA
5 4 SS Yunesky Sanchez Mob Went 10 straight starts without striking out at the end of May
6 6 RP Josh Ellis Vis Has only allowed earned runs in one of his 16 appearances
7 11 RP Evan Scribner SB Fanned 5 in Memorial Day save; 10 straight scoreless outings
8 5 1B Joshua Whitesell Tuc 6-for-23 (.261)with a double this week falls short of recent expectations
9 12 RP A. J. Shappi Tuc Really earned his promotion and tossed a scoreless inning in Triple-A debut
10 17 P Thomas Layne SB Two of his three starts have been shutouts; 2.10 ERA as a reliever
11 19 OF Evan Frey SB 5 multi-hit games in current 6-game hit streak
12 - 2B Emilio Bonifacio Tuc Went 13-for-29 this week (.448); batting .343 vs RHP
13 14 OF Alexander Romero Az Doubled in his first full game in the majors
14 9 RP Chad Beck Vis Hasn't walked a right-handed Hi-A batter yet
15 7 SB Jarrod Parker SB Getting a rest to prevent overuse and limit his innings
16 13 SP Matt Torra Mob April: 3-0, 1.74 May: 1-4, 3.55
17 24 RP Reid Mahon Mob 2nd in SL in saves; Still hasn't blown one
18 - RP Jason Urquidez Vis Last 7 games: 13.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 15 K, 4 BB
19 23 OF Tim Raines Tuc Uncharacteristic: 13 hits, 3 HR, but no walks over last 9 starts
20 - RP Leo Rosales Tuc Has saved 5 games and posted 1.80 ERA since May 10 debacle
21 15 RP William Spottiswood SB Allowed two hits and a run in each of his last two outings
22 20 SP Billy Buckner Tuc 3-1, 3.00 ERA in 6 May starts for emotional pitcher
23 - SP Tony Barnette Mob Catching up to AA batters: 19.1 IP, 4 ER, 18K, 3 BB, in last 3 starts
24 - SP Christian Beltre SB Tossed CG 2-hitter in his latest success
25 - OF Gerardo Parra Mob Promoted to Mobile despite just decent numbers

Three To Watch:

- RP Forrest Cory (Mobile) allowed only two earned runs over his last 10 innings

- RP Scott Maine (Visalia) has fanned 10 in eight innings, but walked six

- SP Josh Collmenter (South Bend) has gone at least five innings in each of his past four starts, never surrendering more than two earned runs

Falling Off:

- C Sean Coughlin (10) has just four hits in his last 38 at bats (.105)

- 1B Bryan Byrne (16) has only one extra base hit over his last 10 games

- SP Adam Howard (18) couldn't make it out of the third inning in his latest start

- OF Cyle Hankerd (21) is batting .216 with just one RBI over his last 10 games

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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