FutureBacks Power Rankings: May 2011

The South Bend Silver Hawks might be the hottest minor league affiliate around, their roster filled with prospects who are starting to click. Meanwhile, Paul Goldschmidt continues to be the best hitter in Minor League Baseball and Josh Collmenter continues to prove scouts who are obsessed with velocity wrong. Read more about Goldie, Collie, and the hottest D-backs prospects inside.

Reno Aces 33-23 (1st) / May: 17-14
Mobile BayBears 31-24 (1st-t) / May: 15-16
Visalia Rawhide 25-30 (5th) / May: 13-16
South Bend Silver Hawks 29-26 (4th) / May: 20-11

As usual, the South Bend Silver Hawks began the season cold and have heated up with the weather.  They went 13-4 in their last 17 games through June 3rd.  The offense has been led by Yazy Arbelo, the best hitter in the Midwest League this year, and Zach Walters, arguably the league MVP due to his well-rounded offense and versatile infield defense.  The pitching has been more of a collective effort, with the majority of the roster sporting sub-4.00 earned run averages.

Of course, the major league team has been every bit as hot as the Hawks have.  Josh Collmenter has been a huge part of that success, first by solidifying a bullpen that was inconsistent outside of their closer early in the year, then by replacing the ineffective Armando Galarraga in the starting rotation.  If you were to remove Collmenter's rough start in the pitcher's nightmare known as Coors Field, he would be 4-0 with a 0.92 ERA in 39 major league innings.

The following rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity by performing well.  They are not necessarily the best prospects in the system overall. 

Abbreviations: Mob=AA Mobile, SL=Southern League; PCL= Pacific Coast League
SB=Low-A South Bend, MWL=Midwest League; Vis=Hi-A Visalia, CL=California League

Stats are accurate through games of Friday, June 3.  A yellow highlight indicates a recent promotion.

Rank Prev Pos Name Team Comment
1 1 1B Paul Goldschmidt Mob .342 with 19 HR and 53 RBI in 55 games
2 3 P Josh Collmenter Az 4-1 with an absurd 1.25 ERA in 43.1 big league innings
3 2 OF Collin Cowgill Reno Batting .415 in last 10 games; 10 HR and 16 SB is best power/speed combo in PCL
4 4 SP Wes Roemer Mob 1.05 WHIP ranks 4th in SL
5 12 OF Adam Eaton Vis Batting .420 in 23 games since DL stint; Leads CL with .495 OBP
6 9 1B Yazy Arbelo SB Leads MWL with 14 HR, 43 RBI, .596 SLG, and .988 OPS
7 NR SP Tyler Skaggs Vis Went 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in May; easily leads CL with 81 strikeouts
8 8 INF Zach Walters SB Switch-hitter is batting .357 vs RHP; 16 hits in his last seven games
9 11 RP Joe Paterson Az Only one earned run in 24 big league appearances (0.66 ERA)
10 10 SS Taylor Harbin Mob Been very consistent; .324 AVG and .392 OBP for the year
11 NR 3B Matt Davidson Vis Batting .315 with 7 HR and 38 RBI since the end of April
12 19 3B Bobby Borchering Vis Batting .323 and slugging .528 since the end of April
13 NRR SP David Holmberg SB 5-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his last six starts
14 NR SS Chris Owings Vis Has a 13-game hitting streak and a .442 BA over his last 10 games
15 NR 3B Ryan Wheeler Mob Batting .406 with 3 HR in his last 10 games
16 17 OF A.J. Pollock Mob Leads SL with 74 hits; Last 10 games: .368 BA, 7 BB, 6 XBH, 11 R, 10 RBI
17 NR SP Patrick Corbin Mob Has thrown 20 straight scoreless innings
18 14 RP Bryan Shaw Reno A 0.96 ERA this year if you exclude one horrific outing in Reno
19 NR P Tom Layne Reno 5-0 ,2.23 ERA last 10 games and 4-0, 3.35 ERA in four starts
20 NR RP Bryan Woodall Mob Has allowed just one ER since April (0.38 ERA)
21 15 2B Jake Elmore Mob .304 AVG, but just a .717 OPS
22 7 C Konrad Schmidt Reno Mini-slump has brought his average down to .301, but 2 HR in his last nine games
23 NR RP Jeremy Erben SB 2-0, 3 SV, 18 K, and a 0.63 ERA in his past 10 games
24 NR RP Blake Cooper SB Six saves and a 1.46 ERA in his past 10 games
25 NR SP Patrick Schuster SB No earned runs allowed in his past two starts
26 13 P Tyler Green SB 5.87 ERA in two appearances since coming off the DL
27 16 3B Kyle Greene Reno Promoted first to AA, then AAA; .769 OPS across three levels
28 NR P Daniel Taylor SB 31 K, 6 BB, and 0.74 ERA in 12 relief appearances
29 19 RP Taylor Sinclair Vis Control issues in brief promotion to AA; back to dominating the Cal League
30 NR OF Ender Inciarte SB Batting .389 with  seven steals over his last 10 games

Falling Off:

INF Mark Hallberg (5) has slugged  .269 since his promotion to Reno

C Rossmel Perez (6) hit .355 in April and .220 since

To Watch:

RP Keith Cantwell (South Bend) has a 2.31 ERA over seven appearances since joining the Hawks out of extended spring training.

2B Mike Freeman (South Bend) has 12 hits, six walks, and just one strikeout in his current seven-game hitting streak.

2B David Nick (Visalia) is batting .378 with two homers over his past 10 games.

Util Raoul Torrez (Visalia) has played second base, third base, shortstop, and left field this year, and has three homers in his last 10 games

OF Evan Frey (Reno) is 9-for-his-last-24.   He went .173/.271/.200 with Mobile, but is .293/.404/.390 with Reno.

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