FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 20

In our final Power Rankings of the season, we rank the 50 hottest prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and target five more worth watching in the minor league season's final week. For veteran prospects, strong performances now could mean a September callup, while younger prospects might find themselves added to South Bend's playoff roster.

Several hitters in Tucson are scorching the ball right now, and any one of them could find themselves in a key pinch-hitting role for the Arizona Diamondbacks once rosters expand in September.  Jesus Merchan can play second base, and his mix of both offense and defense might be worth a look.  Even Javier Brito, who is currently sizzling in Mobile, could conceivably get that call, as he is on the 40-man roster.

Of course, the most exciting callup possibility is Max Scherzer.  Do the Diamondbacks promote him in August so that he can pitch in the postseason?  Do they move struggling Doug Davis to the bullpen to rest his ailing back and insert Scherzer into the rotation?  How does the team balance winning now with developing Scherzer properly?

At the lower levels, Ryne White finds himself the latest of the 2008 draft picks to get added to the playoff-bound South Bend Silver Hawks' roster.  White was drafted as an outfielder, but has played exclusively at first base this year.  He has a .991 fielding percentage there this year, which secures the position as Chance Wheeless had really struggled on ground balls hit to him the past few weeks.  The team is such a close-knit group that it might not make sense to add another player at a whim, but you never know when an injury could force the organization to make a move.

"We all get along great, and I think that's what's making this season go the way it has," catcher Sean Coughlin told us.  "The chemistry out here has been incredible."

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 24th.  A highlight indicates a recent promotion.      

Rank Prev Name Team Comment
1 1 1B Joshua Whitesell Tuc Three 3-RBI games in his last 10 starts
2 5 SP Patrick McAnaney SB 2-0, 0 ER, 3 H, 10 IP in last 2 starts
3 6 OF Evan Frey Vis .326/.432/.435 with 7 SB in August
4 4 SP Cesar Valdez Mob 24 strikeouts over his past 3 starts
5 3 SS Pedro Ciriaco Vis Batting .268 in last 10 games, but with 5 SB, 4 XBH, 8 R, and 9 RBI
6 7 RP Clay Zavada SB Zavada is simply too advanced for Midwest League batters
7 12 SP Tony Barnette Mob Has won each and every one of his last six starts
8 23 2B Taylor Harbin SB Harbin now leads the MWL with 39 doubles
9 9 C John Hester Mob 5 HR 12 RBI in 15 Aug games
10 10 SP Jarrod Parker SB Secondary stuff is improving; he's logged a lot of innings this year for a 19-year old
11 19 SP Sammy De Los Santos DSL Hasn't allowed an ER in his past 3 starts; Gibson-esque 1.12 ERA for the year
12 17 OF Mike Mee Vis .441 OBP this month
13 13 SP Max Scherzer Tuc Could be key in D-backs' September drive
14 2 3B Jaime D'Antona Tuc Batting just .227 since his return to Tucson
15 16 SS Jesus Merchan Tuc 2 HR and 8 RBI during active 8-game hit streak
16 - OF Tim Raines Tuc .500/.526/.917 in his last 8 games
17 - SS Mark Hallberg Vis Batting .405 with a .488 OBP in last 10 games
18 8 SP Josh Collmenter SB 3 of his last 5 starts have been rough by his standards
19 18 RP Leo Rosales Az Allowed 3 ER with comfortable lead in Hou, but solid otherwise
20 - LF Javier Brito Mob Slugging .729 thru 20 Aug games (7 HR, 22 RBI)
21 22 RP Jeff Dietz SB Sidearmer asn't allowed a run in the past two weeks (8.2 IP, 2 H)
22 25 2B Jacob Elmore Mis .426 OBP in his last 10 contests
23 - SS David Cooper Yak Yakima's all-time single-season BB leader is hitting .375 over his last 10
24 21 SP Christian Beltre SB Only allowed more than 2 ER once in his last 6 starts
25 27 RP Jason Urquidez Mob He's succeeded at all 3 levels he's pitched at this year
26 32 C Sean Coughlin SB 2 HR effort Friday and 11 RBI in his last 10 games
27 24 1B Bryan Byrne Mob 7 walks in his last 7 games, but BA is dipping
28 - P Bryan Henry SB 12.1 straight scoreless innings, including a 5-inning spot start
29 44 1B Ryne White SB Batting .316 with 7 RBI in four games since promoted to familiar South Bend
30 - 2B Rusty Ryal Mob .324/.370/.588 in August after awful July
31 - OF Ender Inciarte DSL 17-year old is 12-for-his last-25 (.480)
32 28 SP Barry Enright Vis No walks issued in 3 of his last 4 starts
33 - RP Daniel Schlereth SB 1st-rounder has fanned 14 in 8 pro innings
34 29 SP Matt Torra Tuc 2 walks in his last 25 IP
35 37 RP Daniel Stange Vis Only two baserunners allowed in his last 4 appearances
36 31 SP Bryan Augenstein Vis Lost 3 of last 4, but tossed 3 perfect innings in Aug 15th start
37 41 RP Scott Maine Vis 2-0, 1 SV, 0.66 ERA in his last 9 games
38 - SP Teo Gutierrez DSL 21 K, 1 BB, 1.07 ERA in August
39 39 C Konrad Schmidt Vis Solid offense is a bonus from this excellent defensive catcher
40 40 3B Nelson Gomez Mis 12-for-his-last-35 (.343) with HR in two of his last three games
41 35 SP Billy Buckner Az Lost his only 2 appearances in Tucson before replacing Slaten
42 42 OF Isaias Ascencio Mis Batting .515 during active 8-game hit streak, but just one BB in August
43 - P Diogenes Rosario DSL 0 ER, 4 H, 12 K, 1 BB in last 12.2  IP
44 - RP Silio Familia DSL 0 ER in last 11 IP; 8 K, 0 BB, 2 H in last 5.1
45 - SP Terry Hose Yak Last 2 Starts: 13 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 13 K, 1 BB
46 15 RP William Spottiswood SB 2 straight losses after 9 consecutive scoreless appearances
47 - 3B Victor Estevez Mis Versatile Victor went .367 with 2 HR during 8-game hit streak this month
48 38 P Thomas Layne SB  Pitching away from contact lately, but still getting it done
49 34 RP Eury De La Rosa DSL 9 H in 2.2 IP Aug 13, then 14 K in 6 IP ten days later
50 - C Frank Curreri Tuc Went 11-for-21 (.524) but followed that up with 8 hitless AB

Prospects To Watch:

- OF Astolfo Inciarte (DSL) 1s hitting .355 with just two strikeouts in his last 10 games

- 1B Anthony Smith (Yakima) is batting .306 with five 2B and 10 RBI over his last nine games

- SP Ian Harrington (Yakima), a Seattle native, has won two straight starts (12 IP, 3 ER, 1 BB)

- IF Matt Oxendine (South Bend) is batting .308 in August and getting some big hits of late

- RP Bryan Shaw (South Bend) has enjoyed three straight fantastic outings of long relief (7 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB)

Falling Off:

- OF Collin Cowgill (11) endured an 0-for-6, 3-strikeout performance Saturday that has typified his struggles in South Bend

- 3B Kyle Greene (14) saw his lack of strike zone control catch up to his numbers (.218/.262/.282 & 32 K this month)

` 3B Raywilly Gomez (20) has committed 29 errors in 50 games at third base, but has looked better at second

- SP Brooks Brown (26) has lost his last four games, with only one of those being tough luck

- OF Henry Zaballa (30) strung together three hitless games last week

- RP Ramon Mariano (33) tested positive for a banned PED, and has been suspended 50 games

- SP Evan MacLane (36) lost his only start in the past two weeks, allowing eight hits and five earned runs


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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