1. Felix Hernandez, RHP - Tacoma
13 GS, 8-4, 2.32 ERA, 73.2 IP, 54 H, 8 K, 40 BB, .205 BAA
Hernandez has missed two straight starts but is expected to explore a return to the mound in the next 10 days. At this point, it's highly unlikely that the M's top prospect starts the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 13 – as he was selected to do.
2. Chris Snelling, OF - Tacoma
53 G, .364/.449/.545, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 31 BB, 38 K
The left-handed hitting Snelling rebounds from a subpar week, for him anyways, to regain the form that allowed the 23-year-old to lead all of baseball in batting average for six weeks.
3. Bobby Livingston, LHP – San Antonio
15 GS, 7-3, 2.80 ERA, 90.1 IP, 71 H, 63 K, 19 BB, .217 BAA
The M's top left-hander has gone six or more innings in all but three starts this season – including nine in a row. The 22-year-old started the Texas League All-Star game this past week, going two scoreless innings.
4. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS - Wisconsin
55 G, .319/.402/.481, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 31 BB, 34 K, 2 SB
Cabrera has always been a favorite of the staff at InsideThePark.com, but this is getting ridiculous. The 19-year-old takes over for Jones as the 66ers shortstop and keeps right on hitting as if nothing changed at all.
5. Adam Jones, SS – San Antonio
4 G, .286/.468/.426, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K
Jones was promoted to Double-A San Antonio early in the week and collected four hits in 14 at-bats in four games. Seemingly overmatched in the Midwest League last season, Jones was productive with Inland Empire and hasn't skipped a beat with the Missions. His defense is under close watch at shortstop, where the M's have three better options than Jones and his 22 errors.
6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS - Tacoma
22 G, .278/.307/.366, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 3 SB
Betancourt is settling in nicely at the plate and hit his first two Triple-A home runs over the past seven games. The 23-year-old has committed just one error in 23 games in Tacoma.
7. Shin-soo Choo, OF - Tacoma
57 G, .271/.400/.411, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 15 SB, 45 BB, 48 K
Choo experienced an all-or-nothing week, collecting just four hits but smacking two of them over the fence for his fifth and sixth home runs. The 22-year-old is fifth in the league in walks with 45.
8. Yung-Chi Chen, 2B - Wisconsin
68 G, .294/.328/.423, 4 HR, 47 RBI, 11 SB, 16 BB, 48 K
Chen's surge has returned the 21-year-old to the top 10 where he should stay as a multi-tooled defensive wizard. His bat needs to stay consistent, however.
9. Matt Tuiasosopo, SS - Wisconsin
57 G, .287/.372/.422, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 27 BB, 56 K
Hanging on to a solid season, Tuiasosopo is still playing out of position – about 200 feet out of position. Playing shortstop is doing nothing but distracting Tui from developing his most valuable tool – his power bat.
10. Robert Johnson, C - Wisconsin
53 G, .282/.328/.474, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 15 BB, 20 K
Recently named the Rattlers first half MVP and defensive MVP, Johnson is clearly the leader of the prospect-laden Wisconsin club..
11. Wladimir Balentien, OF – Inland Empire
66 G, .270/.314/.535, 14 HR, 47 RBI, 15 BB, 82 K
Until the 20-year-old makes the adjustments that will allow for more consistent contact, the basher will continue to whiff – and drop in the power rankings Eighty-two strikeouts is just too many empty at-bats.
12. Jamal Strong, OF - Tacoma
56 G, .306/.388, 37 R, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 16 SB, 27 BB, 40 K
Jamal Strong: Major League caliber reserve. Get it done already.
13. Cha Seung Baek, RHP - Tacoma
11 GS, 6-2, 4.02 ERA, 62.2 IP, 65 H, 47 K, 14 BB, .269 BAA
Baek's incosnsistencies may be due to time off – or maybe he's just an inconsistent pitcher. His command is still stellar, and that alone could get the righty a look at Safeco in September.
14. Marshall Hubbard, 1B – Wisconsin
.329/.423/.533, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 26 BB, 40 K
Hubbard climbs the charts with solid at-bats while hitting in the middle of the Rattlers batting order. The second-year pro is another Timber Rattler who may see the Cal League this season.
15. Sebastien Boucher, OF – Wisconsin
.335/.419/.449, 1 HR, 30 RBI, 11 SB, 23 BB, 29 K
Playing regularly in the Midwest League, the Canadian-born speedster is showing everyone why he was worth waiting for after having visa isues last winter.
16. Jason Snyder, RHP - Wisconsin
15 GS, 8-6, 4.12 ERA, 91.2 IP, 98 H, 61 K, 21 BB, .274 BAA
Snyder is struggling with consistency but his durability and stuff are still quality attributes that should land the right-hander in the California League before the end of the year.
17. Chia-an Huang, RHP - Peoria
1 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 1 H, 5 K, 2 BB
Huang is a Taiwanese right-hander who often reached the 91-95 mph range in high school. With decent control to go with his slider and mid-90s heat, Huang may shove his way through the lower minors and become a top prospect in the M's farm system.
17. Casey Craig, OF - Everett
4 G, .429/.519/.447, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Craig has played 16 games in the system this season, filling in where each club has needed an extra outfielder. But the 20-year-old is a prospect in his own right, with power potential and solid plate skills.
18. Jeff Flaig, 1B - Everett
5 G, .357/.496/.451, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Flaig switches from the left side of the infield (SS, 3B) to the right side at first base, as the club attempts to keep their 2003 2nd rounder healthy and in the lineup – where his bat could shoot him through the system quickly.
19. Clint Nageotte, RHP - Tacoma
2 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 0 H, 7 K, 0 BB, .000 BAA
Nageotte finally returns from a forearm injury suffered in spring training and immediately becomes a future candidate for the big leagues. Nageotte will likely be used primarily as a reliever in Tacoma.
20. Luis Valbuena, 2B - Everett
6 G, .261/.345/.512, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K
Valbuena is an intriguing second base prospect with some pop in his bat and physical tools that project well as the Venezuelan matures and gains experience.
The Fallen - RHP Jorge Campillo (13), 3B Jesus Guzman (17), C Ryan Christianson (18), 3B Hunter Brown (19).
New Additions - OF Casey Craig (17), 1B Jeff Flaig (18), RHP Clint Nageotte (19), 2B Luis Valbuena (20).
Biggest Jump - 2B Yung-Chi Chen (14 to 8) OF Sebastien Boucher (20 to 15).
NOTE: First round pick Jeff Clement will not be considered for the power rankings until signed to a professional contract.
Jason A Churchill is the Executive Editor at InsidethePark.com and can be reached via e-mail at JasonAChurchill@InsideThePark.com
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