Padres Prospect Power Rankings XII

The bottom of the order gets a heavy dose of new player infusion while the top ten gets moved around in Padres Prospect Power Rankings. Also, look out for an expanded version of "On the Cusp".

NoteStats current through Sunday July 24th, 2005.  This list is not about who are the better players or prospects, but rather who is doing the best and making the most of their opportunities.  Players with Major League service time that are not considered prospects are not eligible for the Prospect Power Rankings.


Rank Name Team Comments Last Week's Rank
1 Clay Hensley Por

A win with the Beavers, a call up to San Diego, four scoreless innings with the Big League club – he stays on the list for the week although he will be dropped if he is with the Padres through the week. Number one last week – seems it has some meaning.

3 Ben Johnson Por

He returns to the PCL and his mantle near the top of the list. The outfielder, fresh off a stint with the Padres, has a 14-game hitting streak and has 16 RBI's over his last nine games. Stellar.

3 Fernando Valenzuela LE

Six hits in 22 at bats with three of those extra base hits. He also walked four times, hitting .325 during the month of July. Talk about even-steven – Valenzuela is hitting .319 off both lefties and righties.

4 Mike Thompson Mob

One run allowed over the last 13.1 innings, wins his last Southern League game and goes on to debut with Portland where he dominates over seven – on three days rest. Allows one hit and strikes out a season-high eight in his Triple-A debut. Not too shabby.

5 Chris Kolkhorst FW

Five for 23 with five walks keeps him in the top five. Kolkhorst has driven in four over the last two days and still has more walks (63) than strikeouts (55) for the year.

6 Mike Ekstrom FW

He leads all pitchers in the Padres' system in wins with 13, allowing one run over six innings. Has been as steady as they come throughout the whole season with 14 outings producing two runs against or less.

7 Adam Bourassa LE

Has only hit .347 in 42 games since joining the Storm. Has also walked 20 times and taken that strike three on 11 occasions. The guy has been a stud and a table setter in LE. Now if we could just up his average with runners in scoring position (RISP) – just .220.

8 Chris Oxspring Por

An eight inning performance where only two runs cross the plate is enough to keep the Aussie in the top ten and in good shape for the stretch run. He has given up two runs over his last 21 innings – redemption for his worst outing of the year.

9 Clayton Hamilton FW

Another seven inning gem where he scatters three hits and three walks while not allowing a run. The power pitcher leads the Fort Wayne starters in ERA at 2.88 but has lost three games where he has given up three runs or less.

10 George Kottaras LE

The sweet swinging catcher is 7-for-20 over the last week with a double in four straight games and five runs scored over the last three.

11 Matt Varner FW

How does the world penalize the Wizards' closer after he blows a save? They give him the win and drop him a few spots in the power rankings. Twenty-nine saves for a guy who doesn't throw over 92. Baseball is a mental game.

12 Ricky Steik FW

The first time he allows a run in over a month and he nets a blown save and a loss as three runs cross the plate in two-thirds of an inning. He has allowed nine baserunners over his last 2.2 innings of work. Still owns an ERA under 2.00.

13 Brett Bonvechio LE

Sure his 14-game hitting streak ended but the third baseman makes a move up the chain in a system that is weak at the position. He is hitting .354 in July with 14 extra base hits.

14 Kyle Blanks Peoria

He wasn't shooting blanks this week and capped it off with a 3-for-5 performance. Blanks had some trouble adjusting to the breaking pitches he was seeing but seems to be coming around again.

15 Jared Wells LE

Misses out on his win to tie Ekstrom and then gets trumped big time when he is passed over for promotion. Perhaps he is a chip in a potential trade? Not dissing Luke, but Wells deserved it.

16 Luke Steidlmayer LE

The right-hander has been promoted from Fort Wayne to Lake Elsinore to Mobile. His first outing in Mobile on Sunday was something from a horror movie. Ten hits allowed and lots of runs crossing the dish push him down the list as he goes up the chain – we think moving up is more important than this list.

17 Josh Barfield Por

Thirteen hits this week, including four multi-hit games, in 27 at bats. He has also only struck out in two of his last ten games. This kid is looking like the real Josh Barfield.

18 Paul Abraham Mob

While he got his first win of his Double-A career, the reliever did give up two more runs in one-third of an inning in his next outing. He inexplicably has three errors over his last seven outings.

19 Neil Jamison Eug

Four more scoreless innings drop his ERA from 0.69 to 0.53. He hasn't come close to allowing a run in two weeks and has gone ten straight appearances under lock and key.

20 Bobby Scales Por

Has ten hits over the last seven games and crosses the 50 RBI mark for the first time since joining the Padres' organization in 1999. His previous high was 42.

21 Brian Sweeney Por

Takes the hill on three days rest and tosses seven innings of three run ball. Who cares what age he is, this guy pitches lights out each time he is on the mound and has our attention. Major League call up? We think so at some point.

22 Dale Thayer Mob

Hasn't had a whole lot of save opportunities and perhaps that is making him rusty. His ERA isn't that high at 3.24 but he has faced some tough innings where he has managed to escape. Gave up a run in a non-save situation on Sunday and pitched in three non-save opportunities this week.

23 Casey Smith Peoria

Continues to rake with the team in Peoria. The RBI's are down but his average maintains its high status at .328. Sat out a couple of games this week but bounced back on Sunday to go 2-for-5.

24 Drew Davidson Eug

Comes from on the cusp to the big time with a huge week. Goes 13-for-35 with eight RBI's, including one in each of his past three games. Hitting .529 with RISP and two outs.

25 Jon Knott Por

Just two hits, and a walk during the week diminish his status. Whiffed five times during the week and his .209 batting average with RISP is a serious question mark for the slugger, as his .095 average with RISP and two outs.

26 Mike Sansoe Eug

Has a ten game hitting streak with 11 runs scored and 11 RBI's over that span to jump onto the list. Has become a catalyst at the top of the order in Eugene, scoring 12 runs in 15 games from the leadoff spot.

27 Kelvin Vasquez Eug

Only two hits in 11 at bats but gets has an on base percentage of .471 for the week thanks to six walks. Also hits his first homer of the year and second of his career but his playing time has been cut into as it seemingly has all year.

28 Peeter Ramos LE

A nine game hitting streak ends and after going stale for two games he begins anew with hits in four straight. Hitting .275 for the year but hasn't scored a whole lot of runs and just two this week.

29 Drew Macias LE

After going 3-for-21 to drop off the list, rebounded quickly with nine hits in 22 at bats and more impressively nine RBI's over his last six games.

30 Matt Thayer FW

It took him a while to get healthy and took him even longer to see regular playing time. Our boy, however, has been lights out with the Wiz! Don't believe me and the hype, believe these numbers: .363 average and .485 on base percentage through 25 games.

On the cusp:

Steve Delabar rebounded nicely from a six run outing to allow three over his next two. He is turning heads.

J.J. Furmaniak has 12 RBI's over his last 11 games and is making up for a dreadful start to the month with a hot finish. Sixteen of his 20 hits this month have come over that 11 game span.

Sean Thompson is knocking em down in Double-A, lowering his ERA with every start. Two runs or less in four of his last five.

Craig Breslow was a Major League pitcher for a day and didn't do any harm to his prospect status. Only lately has he been used in crunch time and the results are promising.

Chase Headley has four multi-hit games in the last seven and has driven in nine over that span. He is also starting to walk a lot more.

Natanael Mateo has really been doing it all year but a bad stretch pushed him down. He seems to be on the way up again.

Brett Dowdy plays the game the way it was intended. Dirt on the jersey, going for the extra base and good defense. He has been hitting quite well, too.

Leo Rosales has saved six in a row and has stopped the last five inherited runners from scoring. He started off slow but has been on a run of late.

Paul McAnulty was dead in the water with Mobile but his three game stint in Portland has been a revival. Now that he actually has some protection, we may see the best out of the kid.

Abraham Aguilar has a ten-game hitting streak and is making waves in Peoria. He has knocked in seven but has scored only four times over the streak.

Brent Carter has a cool 30-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a slim 2.30 ERA to go with it. He is beginning his ascent.

Jarol Gonzalez is just getting a worthy sample to his season. In 14 games he is hitting .381 – not bad for a sample.

Ryan Klatt has gone seven straight outings without allowing an earned run. He is slowly regaining the form of 2003.

Ernesto Frieri would be someone to watch if he could stop walking people.

Dropping off the charts:

Justin Germano was traded. ‘Nuff said.

Steve Baker has struggled with Double-A pitching.

Brian Burgamy has been hurt most by not being in the lineup regularly and losing the rhythm he had going.

Matt Lauderdale was hot but tailed off this week as Colt Morton nears his return.

Javier Martinez missed two starts and drops off the list.

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send Denis an email at Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during weekly segment on the flagship station for San Diego Padres' baseball, The Mighty 1090. The show airs each Friday at 10:35 AM PST with Brian Wilson and Ernie Martinez.

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