FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 18

Up until now, only Jamie D'Antona and Max Scherzer have occupied the top spot in the FutureBacks Power Rankings. After an extended absence, Scherzer is back on the rankings, but it is yet another Sidewinder who lays claim to the title of "Hottest Prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks Organization."

Since Mike Rizzo left as the Arizona Diamondbacks' Vice President of Scouting Operations and accepted the position of Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Baseball Operations with the Washington Nationals, he has worked to pilfer some of his former players via trades.  Matt Chico, Garrett Mock, and Emilio Bonifacio were all highly-regarded Diaomndbacks prospects who have since played in the majors with the Nats.

But while Rizzo has been stockpiling his former players, he took his eyes off of one of his own.  The Nationals let first baseman Josh Whitesell leave as a minor league free agent, and he is making some serious noise in the Diamondbacks farm system.  Whitesell now ranks 8th in the PCL in batting (.331), 3rd in on-base percentage (.428), 9th in slugging average (.564), 5th in OPS (.992), 3rd in RBI (94), 3rd in hits (138), 6th in walks (65), 5th in total bases (235), and is tied for 7th with 31 doubles.  His hot hitting of late makes the Diamondbacks' decision to trade for left fielder Adam Dunn rather than first baseman Mark Teixeira as rumored seem all the more wise.

Nothing against D'Antona, Scherzer, or any of the other Diamondbacks prospects who are performing at a high level, but Josh Whitesell deserves to be the talk of the system right now.  Fans should hope that he is not one of the two players to be named later in the Adam Dunn deal.

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

Note: Stats are accurate through Sunday, August 10th.  A highlight indicates a recent promotion.      

Rank Prev Name Team Comment
1 16 1B Joshua Whitesell Tuc 16-game hit streak ended Sunday - .443/.540/.679 since July 1
2 1 3B Jamie D'Antona Az It's hard to stay sharp as a full-time pinch hitter
3 12 SS Pedro Ciriaco Vis Batting .420 during active 12-game hit streak
4 2 SP Cesar Valdez Mob Still hasn't allowed a home run to a Double-A batter (8 starts/42.1 IP)
5 6 SP Patrick McAnaney SB Surprisingly used as a starter with the Silver Hawks
6 13 OF Evan Frey Vis .351/.367/.514 with 3 SB in August
7 15 RP Clay Zavada SB No hits allowed since July 4th; one walk since July 6th
8 3 SP Josh Collmenter SB Rebounded with 5 shutout frames after 2 straight losses
9 9 C John Hester Mob Three homers in his last five games
10 - SP Jarrod Parker SB After 3 straight wins, Parker fanned 10 in 7 IP (1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB)
11 11 OF Collin Cowgill SB Finding his full-season stroke: .300/.349/.500 over last 10 games
12 14 SP Tony Barnette Mob 6-1, 2.24 ERA over last 11 starts
13 - SP Max Scherzer Tuc 15 K and 1 ER in 9 IP as a starter since his DL stint
14 4 3B Kyle Greene Mis Batting .256 in August after a .372 June and .396 July
15 18 RP William Spottiswood SB Last 6 games: 2-0, 2 SV, 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 10 K, 0 BB
16 7 SS Jesus Merchan Tuc Merchan has already enjoyed two 3-hit games in August
17 8 OF Mike Mee Vis Has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games
18 39 RP Leo Rosales Az Leads the team with a 2.53 ERA
19 33 SP Sammy De Los Santos DSL 1.26 ERA (8th in DSL) and 0.77 WHIP (5th) thru 10 starts
20 45 3B Raywilly Gomez DSL Batting .388 since the start of July; .332 AVG for the year is 6th in DSL
21 - SP Christian Beltre SB 4-1, 2.63 ERA, 28 K, 6 BB since July 1st
22 27 RP Jeff Dietz SB 1.71 ERA since the end of May
23 17 2B Taylor Harbin SB Still .321/.364/.465 since the break after three straight 0-for-4 games
24 19 1B Bryan Byrne Mob Had an 8-game hit streak snapped Sunday
25 21 2B Jacob Elmore Mis Batting .379 w/RISP this year
26 20 SP Brooks Brown Mob One of the best 6-12 pitchers you'll find anywhere
27 35 RP Jason Urquidez Mob 2 ER, 15 K, 2 BB in his last 9 games (1-0 1.29 ERA)
28 23 SP Barry Enright Vis Has gone at least 6 innings in his last 7 starts (3.07 ERA, 49 K, 9 BB)
29 24 SP Matt Torra Tuc 6 ER in 3 IP Aug 1st, then 0 ER in 8 IP Aug 6th
30 - OF Henry Zaballa DSL Batting .370 in August and has a team-leading 36 RBI
31 29 SP Bryan Augenstein Vis Two straight tough losses; 37 hits allowed in 28 Hi-A innings
32 - C Sean Coughlin SB 2 HR, 2 2B, 7 RBI, and just 1 K during active 6-game hit streak
33 44 RP Ramon Mariano DSL 1 ER in 14.2 IP (0.66) since one disastrous outing
34 - RP Eury De La Rosa DSL Six shutout relief innings on the 31st and a 1.89 ERA for the year
35 34 SP Billy Buckner Az Solid when used, but 3 HR in 9 IP is a concern
36 41 SP Evan MacLane Tuc 4-1, 3.33 in his last 8 games
37 36 RP Daniel Stange Vis Stange has struggled since his promotion, particularly against Stockton (0-2, 2 IP, 3 ER, 1 HR, 6 H, 3 BB)
38 26 P Thomas Layne SB 10 hits and 7 ER Sunday came after 4 quality starts
39 40 C Konrad Schmidt Vis Batting .321 in Visalia, but just 1 HR and 1 BB in 78 AB
40 - 3B Nelson Gomez Mis 12-for-his-last-35 (.343) with HR in two of his last three games
41 - RP Scott Maine Vis 0.00 ERA in his last 5 games and got the win Friday
42 - OF Isaias Ascencio Mis .564 SLG over his last 10 games, including three homers
43 30 OF Peter Clifford Vis AVG is plummeting, but is still producing runs (7 RBI in last 7 G; 6 R in last 8)
44 - OF Ryne White Mis Enjoyed a 2 HR, 5 RBI day on August 4th
45 - RP Daniel Vasquez Yak 14 strikeouts and 2 earned runs over his last 10.1 innings

Prospects To Watch:

- RP Daniel Schlereth (Missoula) has allowed just one unearned run in three professional innings thus far

- RP Bryan Henry (South Bend) is 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA in his last eight outings, which includes one spot start

- RP Jose Marte (Mobile) has assumed the closer's duties and has saved five games over his last eight appearances

 C Frank Curreri (Tucson) is batting .348 in August after hitting just .130 with the Sidewinders in July

- OF Alexander Romero (Diamondbacks) has played great defense and stolen several bases since Justin Upton went down; showing life in his bat as well

Falling Off:

- OF Tim Raines (5) is batting just .190 in his last 10 ballgames

- OF Trent Oeltjen (10) has hit.192 in August after a scorching .411 in July

- 3B Cesar Nicolas (22) is just 3-for-21 (.143) since returning from an undisclosed injury

- RP Josh Ellis (25) has a 4.36 ERA since his return to Visalia

- OF Astolfo Inciarte (28) is batting .128 since joining the split Diamondbacks/Reds DSL squad

- RP Reid Mahon (31) got tagged for 6 ER in a relief outing last week

- SS Mark Hallberg (32) is batting .250 with only 2 RBI in August

- RP Silo Familia (37) has allowed runs in his last three outings and failed to record an out in the most recent one

- RP Abe Woody (38)  has been charged with six earned runs, nine hits allowed, and five walks over his last five innings pitched

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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