FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 11

The first half of the season is over for the South Bend Silver Hawks and the Visalia Oaks. Unlike the other full season affiliates or their parent Arizona Diamondbacks ballclub, they are provided with a fresh win-loss record at midseason, and many prospects on the Hawks and Oaks are excelling of late.

In the first half of the season, The South Bend Silver Hawks came out of the gate to an abhorrent 2-14 start.  Even though they went 31-22 (.585) in the remainder of the first half, the hole that they dug for themselves could not be overcome. 

With their second half record reset, they are now 3-1 and are a real threat to make the postseason for a fourth straight year under the guidance of Mark Haley.  The entire pitching staff has improved ever since Sean Coughlin came out of Extended Spring Training, and the All-Star catcher has contributed mightily with his bat as well.  But offensively, the real stars have been table-setters Evan Frey and Mike Mee, who get on base so consistently that the team almost can't help but score runs.

There's a lot more excitement in South Bend, as high draft choices Dallas Buck and Daniel Stange are both coming back from Tommy John Surgery at that level.  Buck wields a nasty sinker, while Stange boasts one of the organization's best sliders.  Clay Zavada, who was recently acquired for power prospect Brad Miller in a groundbreaking trade, also joins the staff.

The Oaks, meanwhile, had been streaky throughout the first half.  Their 34-36 record tied them for last in the tough North division, when it would have earned them second place in the South Division.  They can hope for easier competition in the second half, but first they need to take care of themselves, as their 2-4 start to the second half doesn't inspire much confidence.

They are getting some great individual performances, however.  Bryan Augenstein has been promoted from South Bend, and looks to join Cesar Valdez to form the best 1-2 punch in the California League.  That could turn into a 1-2-3 punch if converted reliever Chad Beck, who also began the year at South Bend, can continue to flourish as a starter.

Offensively, however, the Oaks remain the PC show: Pedro Ciriaco and Peter Clifford have been the only exciting performers of late.  Gregory Thomson, who finished his 2007 stint in Visalia with a 13-game hitting streak, is back to get more consistent at bats, and might be able to jump-start a very impotent offense.

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 through the day games of Monday, June 23rd.   

Rank Prev Name Team Comment
1 1 3B Jaime D'Antona Tuc AVG has dipped to "only" .394
2 3 SP Bryan Augenstein Vis Promoted to Visalia after a scoreless outing in the MWL All-Star game
3 2 SP Cesar Valdez Vis Left his last start after three strong innings... let's hope he's okay
4 4 OF Evan Frey SB Six multi-hit contests over last 10 games
5 5 RP Evan Scribner SB Zero runs and five hits allowed in May and June combined: 19.2 IP now
6 7 RP Chad Beck Vis Two starts, 10 innings, one earned run
7 6 2B Emilio Bonifacio Tuc Excellent sign: Only one strikeout in his last 16 AB
8 8 RP Reid Mahon Mob Getting nearly four ground outs per fly outs in June with his power sinker
9 9 SS Pedro Ciriaco Vis Three 2-hit games, Two 3-hit games, and a 4-hit game this week
10 11 OF Peter Clifford Vis Batted .400 in the 10 games leading up to the All-Star Break
11 12 SP Matt Torra Tuc 2.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in Tucson so far
12 13 OF Mike Mee SB 17 more BB than K; .395 BA in last 10 games
13 14 SP Josh Collmenter SB Has allowed just 2 ER over his last 3 starts
14 21 2B Rusty Ryal Mob Incredible 5-for-5 with 2 HR on Friday
15 23 RP Jason Urquidez Tuc Skipped Mobile and promoted straight to Tucson
16 10 OF Gerardo Parra Mob Six errors already as a BayBear, but still hitting well
17 27 RP Kyler Newby Vis 15 K, 2 BB, 6 H, 4 SV, and 0.79 ERA this month
18 18 1B Bryan Byrne Mob 6-for-12 with a double and a homer in his last 3 games
19 24 SP Billy Buckner Tuc Gives the Sidewinders a chance to win every time he toes the rubber
20 17 RP Leo Rosales Az Tossed a scoreless inning following a shaky ML debut
21 - RP Vince Bongiovanni Mob 0.68 ERA over his last nine outings
22 19 LF/1B Astolfo Inciarte DSL BA dips to .400; no errors in 11 outfield games
23 15 RP Josh Ellis Vis Ellis has been human of late: a 4.50 ERA over his last 18 IP
24 16 1B Joshua Whitesell Tuc A 3-hit game highlighted an otherwise disappointing week
25 - CF Ender Inciarte DSL .314 BA, .410 OBP, 6 SB thru 16 games
26 30 RP Connor Robertson Tuc Eight scoreless outings that span a dozen innings for deceptive reliever
27 - C Sean Coughlin SB 6-for-14 with 4 walks and 4 doubles since his All-Star appearance
28 29 SP Sammy De Los Santos DSL Tough-luck pitcher has 21 K and 1 BB
29 20 P Thomas Layne SB Allowed 2 inherited runners to score and charged with 3 other runs in long relief outing
30 28 OF Tim Raines Tuc Now that Raines remembers how to draw walks and steal bases, the BA is dipping

Prospects To Watch:

- SP Tony Barnette (Mobile) is having more good starts than bad starts of late

- SP Dallas Buck (South Bend) is 1-0 with a 0.80 WHIP since his early return from Tommy John surgery

- RP Daniel Stange (South Bend) has tossed two shutout relief innings since his early return from Tommy John surgery

- RP Clay Zavada (South Bend) has tossed two shutout relief innings since coming over from an independent league team

- 3B Raywilly Gomez (DSL) is batting .419 with runners on base

- RP Cesse De Jesus (DSL) has 3 saves in 8 games and a 0.79 ERA

Falling Off:

- SP Christian Beltre (22) allowed 10 hits in first outing of the 2nd half

- P A. J. Shappi (25) has not responded well in his return to a starter's role so far (8.22 ERA)

- SS Yunesky Sanchez (26) has not driven in a run since May 19th


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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