FutureBacks Power Rankings: Week 6

There's a lot of movement on these rankings of the hottest prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks system this week. Eight new prospects appear on the list - including the resurgent Billy Buckner - and another half dozen appear poised to make their mark soon.

Reno Aces 18-25 (3rd); 3-3 This Week
Mobile BayBears 23-20 (2nd); 3-3 This Week
Visalia Rawhide 27-17 (1st) ; 2-5 This Week
South Bend Silver Hawks 20-22 (4th); 2-5 This Week

Billy Buckner made Arizona's decision to stretch him out as a starter after his horrible bullpen work in April seem like genius.  He allowed just one run to an Oakland A's club that handles right-handed pitching well after letting major league hitters bat .438 and slug .938 against him in a relief role.  Buckner has earned himself the right to remain in the D-backs' rotation at least until ace Brandon Webb is ready to return.

Buckner certainly isn't the only Diamondbacks prospect recovering from a poor start to the season.  Brett Moorhouse is beginning to show why he was selected in the 9th round of last year's draft, with his low-90s fastball finally proving as effective as it should at lower levels.  For the second straight season, Taylor Harbin has overcome a rough April to become one of his team's best offensive performers.  Cesar Valdez, who turned so many heads last season, is beginning to adjust to the unfavorable pitching conditions throughout the Pacific Coast League as he seeks to justify his sudden notoriety.

Of course, some of the best stories still come from the guys that have been at the top all year long.  Gerardo Parra had seemed a couple of years away from making a major league impact at the end of last season, and now he's making fans wonder why he wasn't called upon to help the Diamondbacks sooner.  Cyle Hankerd's consistency this year has been great to see after he suffered through two consecutive disappointing and injury-plagued seasons.  And while Jarrod Parker was expected to perform well, few could have guessed that he would have been this dominant this quickly at this high of a level.

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 24th.  A yellow highlight indicates a promotion this week, while a red one indicates a demotion.

Rank Prev Pos Name Team Comment
1 1 OF Gerardo Parra Az Batting .300 with 7 R and 8 RBI in 9 games
2 3 SP Jarrod Parker Mob Lowered his Mobile ERA to 2.52 and still hasn't allowed a homer there
3 8 OF Cyle Hankerd Mob Batting .500 with 4 doubles and 10 RBI in his last 8 games
4 5 OF Brendan Duffy SB 5 hits in his last 2 games; 5th in SL with .336 BA, 6th with 28 R
5 13 RP T.J. Hose SB Scoreless inning streak snapped, but still has 1.53 ERA (1.00 in May)
6 23 RP Clay Zavada Az Four batters, four outs for Zavada in the bigs
7 2 SP Bryan Augenstein Reno Found that there's a big difference between National League and Double-A hitters
8 4 SP Trevor Harden Vis .316 BAA in Visalia after .207 mark with South Bend
9 7 SP Ryan Cook SB Suffered 1st defeat and 1st non-quality start this week
10 NR SP Billy Buckner Az Went 7.1 innings in his first big league start since 2007; 3.70 starter's ERA at Reno
11 14 RP Daniel Schlereth Mob Having control issues again (10 BB in 16 IP), but still owns 1.64 ERA and .160 BAA
12 11 IF Justin Parker SB Hitting .256 in his past 10 games despite 3-double performance May 19
13 9 OF Ollie Linton Vis Began the week 5-for-11, then went 2-for-21
14 10 SP Pat McAnaney Vis Pounded for 7 runs on 8 hits and 2 Hector Gomez HR in his last start
15 NR SP Brett Moorhouse SB 2.22 May ERA after 5.52 mark in April
16 NR 2B Taylor Harbin Vis .327/.377/.490 in May after .221/.272/.314 in April
17 21 RP Jeff Dietz Vis Tossed 4 shutout innings of 1-hit ball in May 18th appearance
18 18 3B Kyle Greene Vis 4th in the CL with 35 RBI despite middling .259 BA and .422 SLG
19 19 SP Wes Roemer Mob Solid but unspectacular so far at AA: 1-2/3.38 ERA /1.25 WHIP
20 NR RP Jason Urquidez Reno Tossed a scoreless inning shortly after his promotion
21 6 OF Collin Cowgill Vis 1.044 OPS in April, .668 OPS in May
22 22 RP Chase Christianson Vis Solid week brings his May ERA up to 2.16
23 NR SP Cesar Valdez Reno He's allowed two or fewer earned runs in his past three starts (2.08 ERA)
24 16 RP Jordan Norberto Vis Walked 3 batters Saturday after 5 straight walkless games
25 25 RP Daniel Stange Mob 3 K in last 6.2 IP after 14 K in his first 12.2
26 NR RP Jorge Perez Vis 1-0, 1 SV, 1.86 ERA, 10 K, 2 BB in May
27 NR OF Alfredo Marte SB Batting .370 with runners on base this season
28 NR P Taylor Sinclair SB Swingman had terrific 6-inning start and win over Peoria Saturday; 2.89 May ERA

Falling Off:

Rossmel Perez (12) is 5-for-35 with no extra base hits or RBI in his last nine games

Jake Elmore (15) is hitting .212 with no RBI in his last 10 games

John Hester (17) is 4-for-his-last-25; only one walk and two RBI in his previous 10 games

Trent Oeltjen (20) has been held hitless in five of his last seven starts

Six to Watch:

RP Justin Mace (South Bend) has allowed just one run in five innings since earning a save May 6th

RP Leyson Septimo (Visalia) is holding his opponents to a .189 batting average, but has walked 15 batters in 22 innings

SP Josh Collmenter (Visalia) tossed seven shutout innings in an eventual extra-inning loss May 21st

RP Kyler Newby (Mobile) was brought up to the big leagues for a day and has posted solid numbers all season (3.20 ERA/.288 BAA)

SP Hector Ambriz (Reno) has pitched well enough to win in his two latest starts and added two RBI of his own in the last one

RP Jose Marte (Reno) hasn't allowed a walk in his past five innings after issuing 15 free passes in his previous 21.2 frames

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