FutureBacks Power Rankings: Volume 14

The performance of first baseman Brandon Allen and catcher Miguel Montero over the past two months has kept the Arizona Diamondbacks buzzing, but there are several other first basemen and catchers in the organization that deserve some attention.

Reno Aces 68-61 (2nd-t); on a 9-5 run
Mobile BayBears 37-33 1st Half (2nd); 23-34 2nd Half (last)
Visalia Rawhide 39-31 1st Half (3rd) ; 20-36 2nd Half (last)
South Bend Silver Hawks 26-35 1st Half (4th); 25-30 2nd Half (5th)

Yakima Bears 23-39 (last); 7-14 in August
Missoula Osprey 21-17 1st Half (2nd); 8-12 2nd Half (1st-t)
DSL Diamondbacks 36-33 (5th); Ended season on an 8-12 slide

Miguel Montero has been the most productive catcher in the National League over the past two months, having hit .345, slugged .601, and driven in 32 since June 27th.  Brandon Allen has made D-backs fans forget all about Tony Pena with his deluge upon the Pacific Coast League (.324/.413/.641) prior to getting promoted to the majors last week.  Yet you could make a case that there are hotter catchers and first basemen in the system.

2009 draft selections Ryan Wheeler (5th round) and Paul Goldschmidt (8th) have been among the very best hitters in the Northwest and Pioneer Leagues all summer long.  Wheeler reached base an absurd 45% of the time, batting .345 with 17 doubles and just 27 strikeouts in 220 at-bats.  Goldschmidt "only" gets on base 40% of the time, but is slugging a whopping .633 thanks to 14 homers that tie him for the league lead to go along with 22 doubles and two triples.

The catchers currently seeing the ball very well at the plate are veterans of the system who had previously been known mostly for their defensive prowess.  Konrad Schmidt hit .347 in July before reaching .398 through his first 21 August games.  He combined for one homer in April and May before clubbing six over the past two months.  But even he isn't the equal of Jon Hester, who boasted a .447 OBP and .721 SLG in July and already has 17 RBI in August.

Disappointing seasons from Chris Snyder and Joshua Whitesell are not a concern with the sudden organizational depth at positions #2 and #3.

As always, these rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity, weighing recent performance most heavily.  They are not necessarily the best prospects in the system overall. 


Mob=Mobile, SL=Southern League, PCL= Pacific Coast League
SB=South Bend, MWL=Midwest League, Vis=Visalia, CL=California League
NWL=Northwest League Yak=Yakima, Pio=Pioneer League, Mis=Missoula
DSL = Dominican Summer League

Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, August 25th.  A yellow highlight indicates a recent promotion.

16CJohn HesterReno 10-for-31 (.323) with 2 HR, 2 SB, and 13 RBI since sitting out a couple of games mid-August
22IFRusty RyalAzLeads D-backs in OBP (.391) and SLG (.650) thru 11 games
351BBrandon AllenAz33 R and 32 RBI in 38 Reno games earned him starter's role with D-backs
491BRyan WheelerYakBatting .463 with 9 RBI during active 10-game hit streak
58CKonrad SchmidtVisHas collected at least 3 hits in 5 of his last 10 games
6111BPaul GoldschmidtMis Has been one of the best Pio hitters all season
721SPRyan CookSBLast 6 Starts: 5-0, 1.59 ERA, 39.2 IP, 34 K, 9 BB
83RPT.J. HoseVisAllowed runs in three straight outings before rebounding Saturday
91OFTrent OeltjenAz4-for-37 (.108/.128/.162) since his 12-for-24 professional start
1010CFEnder InciarteMis 11-for-his-last-32 (.355), but no walks during that span
1113SSPedro CiriacoMobBatting .388 with 12 SB in August
1215OFOllie LintonVisBatting .375 over his last 10 games with a .416 August OBP
1317RPFrank SantanaDSLFinished the year 7-1 with a 1.89 ERA
1414RPDaniel SchlerethAz5 BB in 3.2 IP so far in his latest stint with the D-backs
157RPBryan WoodallSB5.19 August ERA after 0.43 July mark
1627SSBrent GreerYakBatting .350 over his last 10 games
174PTom LayneMob15 walks in 22 Double-A innings
1820RPJustin MaceSB2.11 ERA for the season; 39 K and 11 BB
19NRSPDan TaylorYakHas allowed 1 ER or fewer in each of his last 5 starts
20NROFCole GillespieReno.946 OPS with Reno - .462 BA, 2 HR, and 15 RBI in his last 10 games
2118RPVictor CapellanSBMore human in August, but still a .130 BAA with South Bend
2222RPDiogenes RosarioMis 1.11 ERA thru 13 games; 30 K to just 5 BB
23NRSPBarry EnrightMob3-1, 1.17 ERA, and a 1.04 WHIP in August
2419RPJosh Ellis MobScoreless streak snapped with a rough outing August 12, but a 1.59 ERA since the break
25252BDavid NickMis Slugging .467 with 7 RBI in his last 10 games; has a team-leading 16 SB
26NROFBrendan DuffyVis.351/.442/.486 in August; 4-hit game Aug. 20
2729RPAdam WorthingtonMis 10 K, 0 BB, 2.00 ERA in August
2828PMike BelfioreMis Remove one bad start on the 17th and his ERA is 1.34 in 33.2 IP
29161BClayton ConnerSBConner's had some clutch hits for the Hawks, but just a .619 OPS in a dozen games
30302BTaylor HarbinVisHas hit safely in 10 of 12 games; batting .282 in his last 9
31NRSPWade MileyVis2.89 ERA in his final six SB starts prior to his promotion
3238SPTeo GutierrezDSLAllowed 2 ER or fewer in 9 of his final 10 starts
3333OFBobby StoneMis Leads the Pio with 55 RBI; 2nd with 13 HR and 74 K
3434SSRaul NavarroDSLFinished season with impressive .371 OBP but 30 errors
35413B/CRaywilly GomezMis 11-for-22 (.500) during current 6-game hitting streak
36NRSPTony BarnetteRenoHas won his last 6 decisions; 4-0, 3.66 in August
3731 PCharles BrewerMis Mixed success as a starter (1-1, 4.74 ERA/4 starts) after dominating as a reliever (5-0, 1.59 ERA/10 G)
38NRSPGabriel GonzalezDSL1.29 ERA over his final 4 starts
39NRPBryan HenryVis2.70 ERA in 4 starts after posting a 2.88 ERA in 31 bullpen outings
40322BJake ElmoreSB.411 August OBP, but no RBI since Aug. 8
41NRSPBerling CruzDSL2-1, 1.82 ERA, 19 K, 6 BB over his final 5 starts
42NR SPEric Smith SB After walking 16 in 25.2 IP in Missoula, Smith walked just one batter in a 6 IP MWL debut
43NROFDomingo SorianoDSLClubbed 2 HR in penultimate game and no errors all season
44NR RPKevin EichhornMis16 K in fewer than 10 innings of work, but also 7 walks allowed

Falling Off:

Leyson Septimo (12) has walked more than one batter per inning in Double-A; WHIP of 2.18 and ERA of 7.43

Keith Cantwell (23) has allowed 12 hits and eight earned runs in his last five innings pitched (14.40 ERA)

David Narodowski (24) is batting .194 through 21 August games

Chris Rahl (26) has a .640 OPS in the second half and is batting .167 in his last 10 games

To Watch:

SS Chris Owings (Missoula) is batting .343 and slugging .510 through his first eight professional games

P Brad Wilson (Yakima) fanned 11 batters and allowed just two hits in his third start of the year 

P Cody Evans (Mobile) has a 2.42 ERA over his last six games - four starts and two 3-inning relief stints

2B Mark Hallberg (Mobile) is 3-for-29 since his 17-game hit streak came to a close

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