M's Prospect Power Rankings: 8/29

With one week remaining in the minor league baseball season, there is a new number one at the top of the prospect power rankings. Any guesses?

1. Jeff Clement, C - Wisconsin
23 G, .369/.473/.583, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 3-2B, 12 BB, 14 K
Clement has solved Midwest League pitching after a slow first week and is now hitting in the no. 3 spot in the Rattlers batting order. Pay attention to the Clement's numbers in the postseason - he's very good in clutch situations.

2. Adam Jones, SS - San Antonio
125 G, .297/.371/.477, 14 HR, 64 RBI, 30-2B, 7-3B, 51 BB, 106 K, 12 SB
The Texas League keeps throwing their best at Adam Jones and the 20-year-old San Diego native keeps knocking them out of the park. Well, not all of them - some are doubles, triples or the occasional single, too.

3. Bobby Livingston, LHP - Tacoma
9 GS, 5-2, 5.24 ERA, 44.2 IP, 50 H, 27 K, 12 BB, .276 BAA
Livingston has put together a solid showing in Triple-A, considering he probably wasn't as ready as his Double-A numbers would have suggested. The 22-year-old's command must be impeccable if he wants to continue to win in Tacoma. Otherwise his 84-87 mph fastball will ultimately get beaten around the PCL. So far, so good.

4. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS - Inland Empire
53 G, .289/.328/.422, HR, 25 RBI, 42 K, 14 BB, 14-2B
Cabrera's numbers in the Cal League have cooled some, but the 19-year-old's season is still impressive, considering the way he lit the Midwest League on fire (.318/.407/.474, 19 XBH, 51 G) for third of the year. The system's best middle infielder is still on the fast track.

5. Luis Valbuena, 2B - Everett
64 G, .271/.347/.481, 12 HR, 46 RBI, 27 BB, 31 K, 13 SB
Valbuena is making a case for being voted the Northwest League's Most Valuable Player with his league-leading 12 homers and 47 RBI.

6. Yorman Bazardo, RHP - San Antonio
5 GS, 3-1, 3.90 ERA, 30 IP, 22 H, 22 K, 9 BB, .245 BAA
Bazardo just turned 21 in July and is still learning how to pitch. But the right-hander already knows how to pitch to contact, despite his 90-94 mph fastball that reaches as high as 97 at times. The M's are trying to teach Bazardo how to finish off batters when he finds himself ahead in the count.

7. Shin-soo Choo, LF - Tacoma
107 G, .273/.375/.410, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 92 K< 65 BB, 18 SB
Choo continues his rebound from a mid-season slump that saw his average drop into the .250s and his slugging percentage, which remains a concern, under .400. Choo's defense has been very solid this season - his first in left field - highlighted by several outfield assists, with the majority of them coming on throws from the left field wall to gun down runners trying reach scoring position.

8. Bryan LaHair, 1B - Inland Empire
125 G, .309/.375/.507, 22 HR, 112 RBI, 124 K, 51 BB
LaHair is third in all of baseball in RBI - yes, including the big leagues where Manny Ramirez is the only slugger who betters LaHair's 112. The left-handed hitting first baseman could turn himself into a nice prospect with a solid campaign in Double-A next year.

9. Clint Nageotte, RHP - Tacoma
17 G, 2-1, 2.25 ERA, 32 IP, 20 H, 34 K, 17 BB, .170 BAA
Nageotte's trek from spring training to Triple-A, to the big leagues, back to Triple-A added a leg last week when the 24-year-old made the I-5 trip one more time. There's no doubting that the right-hander can get outs in the PCL and the M's are likely to see him again sometimes in September.

10. Rob Johnson, C - Inland Empire
18 G, .311/.382/.458, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 10 BB, 13 K
Johnson continues to impress scouts defensively and surprise them with his bat. The fourth rounder from the '04 draft should provide the M's with catching depth over the next handful of seasons.

11. Robert Fagan, LHP - Everett
13G, 12 GS, 4-2, 3.45 ERA, 70.1 IP, 74 H, 45 K, 27 BB, .275 BAA
Fagan may be the best prospect of the left-handers in Everett at just 20 years of age. The 2003 draftee has been solid since the first series of the short-season leagues in June.

12. Ryan Feierabend, LHP - Inland Empire
27 GS, 8-7, 3.83 ERA, 143.1 IP, 175 H, 117K, 51 BB, .307 BAA
Feierabend is definately one to watch as the 19-year-old progresses through the M's system. The southpaw ranks second in the California League in ERA and is the youngest starter to make more than 15 starts in the circuit this season.

13. Robert Rohrbaugh, LHP - Everett
12G, 10 GS, 5-1, 3.49 ERA, 56.2 IP, 57 H, 61 K, 17 BB, .261 BAA
Rohrbaugh continues to be the most dominant starter for the Sox and if Everett reaches the postseason the left-hander may get the nod in game one.

14. Reed Eastley, 1B - Everett
.327/.444/.476, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 10-2B, 32 BB, 34 K, 8 SB
Eastley hits too much to be ignored and if he can find a permanent position the former shortstop will have a chance to move up through the system.

15. T.J. Bohn, CF - Tacoma
14 G, .271/.319/.343, HR, 4 RBI, 13 K, 2 BB, 3 SB
Bohn has yet to get comfortable in Triple-A but the former 30th round draft pick is earning his keep on a daily basis with solid play in center field. Bohn hit his first AAA long ball last week and has a decent shot to be the club's center fielder in 2006.

16. Mike Wilson, OF - Wisconsin
120 G, .269/.367/.473, 19 HR, 82 RBI, 28-2B, 56 BB, 100 K, 10 SB
Wilson is riding out a hot streak from late this spring - right on into the postseason for Wisconsin. The former second rounder is a leading candidate for Breakthrough Player of the Year.

17. Wladimir Balentien, OF - Inland Empire
116 G, .285/.331/.541, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 34-2B, 8-3B, 32 BB, 149 K
The 21-year-old slugger has racked up nearly 150 strikeouts in three-quarters of a season. Whoa, Wlad, tweak that approach a bit, eh?

18. Jeff Flaig, 1B/LF - Everett
55 G, .261/.336/.443, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 16-2B
Flaig is likely to begin his new career as an outfielder sometime as early as this fall but his bat is what will carry wherever he may be be destined.

19. Michael Garciaparra, 2B - Inland Empire
76 G, .295/.385/.409, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 33 BB, 58 K, 12-2B, 3-3B, 9 SB
Garciaparra is winding down his finest season in pro ball and has a chance to finish with a .300 batting average. Progress has been made - 2006 should be interesting in Double-A.

20. Sebastien Boucher, CF - Inland Empire
52 G, .354/.452/.470, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 12-2B, 3-3B, 15 SB
Boucher's performance in his first year in professional baseball is evidence of two very important things. First, the M's know how to draft, and second, San Antonio is going to be fun to watch in 2006.
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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