FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 5

The Arizona Diamondbacks have depleted their farm system by calling up three of their best prospects this month. Not surprisingly, their affiliates combined to go 8-17 this week, with the Double-A and Triple-a squads struggling the most at a combined 3-11. Nevertheless, some of the prospects who are still in the minors continue to impress this week.

Reno Aces 15-22 (3rd); 2-5 This Week
Mobile BayBears 20-17 (2nd); 1-6 This Week
Visalia Rawhide 25-12 (1st) ; 3-3 This Week
South Bend Silver Hawks 18-17 (4th); 2-3 This Week

With Josh Whitesell, Gerardo Parra, Bryan Augenstein, and Esmerling Vasquez on the big league squad, there is less depth in the minor league system.  Some prospects are playing at levels they simply aren't ready for.  It isn't a shock that infielder Greg Bordes is batting .111 at Double-A or that outfielder Daniel Rodriguez is batting .083 at Hi-A.  These guys both figured to begin the year with a Short-Season team. 

On the other hand, guys like catcher Jhoan Pimentel and reliever William Spottiswood are opening some eyes with early success at levels that would seemingly be too advanced for them.  Pimentel is batting .44 in the early going with Visalia after failing to hit his weight at Yakima last year, while Spotty has skipped Double-A  and made two straight scoreless relief appearances in his second stint with the Triple-A club.

Parra, Augenstein, and Jarrod Parker are still easily the cream of the prospect crop, but some of the A-ball guys are bridging the gap to those marquee prospects at the higher levels.  Little Jake Elmore had been leading the Silver Hawks in home runs for the first month of the season, but batted just .208 in April.  He's hitting .391 over his last seven games, drawing walks, and still displaying doubles power.  Kyle Greene is coming up big in the clutch, leading the Rawhide and tying for third in the California League with 30 RBI despite just decent overall numbers.  T.J. Hose and Jordan Norberto have been lights out in relief over the past month or so, and last year's first-round pick Daniel Schlereth is pitching so well that you wonder whether he might be the next prospect to make the jump from Mobile to Arizona.

Remember, these rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity, weighing recent performance most heavily, not the best prospects overall. 

Abbreviations: Mob=Mobile, SL=Southern League, PCL= Pacific Coast League
SB=South Bend, MWL=Midwest League, Vis=Visalia, CL=California League

Stats are accurate as of Sunday, May 17th.  A highlight indicates a promotion this week.

Rank Prev Pos Name Team Comment
1 2 OF Gerardo Parra Az In three games, he's done more offensively than most D-backs regulars
2 1 SP Bryan Augenstein Az Not outstanding in his debut, but better than Yusmeiro Petit was
3 3 SP Jarrod Parker Mob 20 K in 15.1 AA innings; hasn't allowed more than 2 ER in a start
4 4 SP Trevor Harden Vis Strong showing in his first Visalia start despite getting the loss
5 6 OF Brendan Duffy SB Batting .410 in his last 10 games; 2nd in MWL in OBP, 1st in BA
6 5 OF Collin Cowgill Vis Cowgill is cooling down, but still owns a .901 OPS
7 9 SP Ryan Cook SB 5-0 in 6 starts, and he didn't allow a run in the one no-decision
8 12 OF Cyle Hankerd Mob Hitting .344 over his last 8 games; went 3-for-3 w/4 RBI Sunday
9 7 OF Ollie Linton Vis Batting .241 in his last 7 games
10 8 SP Pat McAnaney Vis Couldn't get thru the 4th inning in his last start
11 10 IF Justin Parker SB Hit streak stopped at 15; strikeouts and errors piling up
12 13 C Rossmel Perez SB 1-for-12 since his hit streak ended
13 23 RP T.J. Hose SB Hose hasn't allowed a run since April 23rd
14 26 RP Daniel Schlereth Mob Schlereth has not allowed more than one hit in any outing this year
15 NR 2B Jake Elmore SB .525 OBP over his last 10 games
16 NR RP Jordan Norberto Vis May: 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.2 IP, 3 H, 10 K, 3 BB, .103 BAA
17 15 C John Hester Reno In a 1-for-11 mini-slump, but still batting .322
18 NR 3B Kyle Greene Vis Hitting .346 with 2 HR and 9 RBI in his last 8 games
19 20 SP Wes Roemer Mob 2.43 ERA thru 2 Double-A starts
20 18 OF Trent Oeltjen Reno Batting .306 in his last 10 games, but no RBI in his last 7
21 NR RP Jeff Dietz Vis 1.42 May ERA for the sidearmer
22 NR RP Chase Christianson Vis 1.26 ERA over his last 7 appearances
23 25 RP Clay Zavada Mob Back with Mobile after being teased with big-league promotion
24 11 1B Joshua Whitesell Az Hasn't scored or driven in a run in 9 big league games
25 24 RP Daniel Stange Mob Struggled in his longest outing of the season May 13th

Falling Off:

Hector Ambriz (14) has a 7.84 ERA so far at Reno

Ricardo Sosa (15) is batting .218with no homers in May, and is 5-for-his-last-33

Taylor Harbin (17) is hitting .225 in his last 10 games

Ryne White (19) is batting .241 with one extra base hit, two walks, and eight strikeouts in his last eight games

Bryan Henry (21) has allowed 16 hits in his last 8.1 innings

Augie Murillo (22) has been suspended 50 games for failing a drug test

Five to Watch:

OF Alfredo Marte (South Bend) is 12-for-his-last-32 (.375), but he only walked twice and doubled twice in that span

SP Brett Moorhouse (South Bend) has a 2.20 ERA over his last three starts

SP Randy Rodriguez (South Bend) didn't allow an earned run in his first start of the season

RP Yonata Ortega (South Bend) has thrown four scoreless innings so far

C Jhoan Pimentel (Visalia) is 4-for-9 since joining the team out of extended spring training

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